In spite of the usual partisanship that inevitably arises in an election season, governors throughout New England—Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative—continue to work to find solutions to the region’s critical energy challenges.
It’s very important work, because New Englanders have some of the highest energy costs in the United States. In fact, four of the highest costs states for electricity are located in New England—Connecticut (#4), Vermont (#5), New Hampshire (#7), and Rhode Island (#9).
Specifically, the committee is addressing two major questions:
- Where should additional energy transmission infrastructure be located (based on projected demand)
- What is the regional formula for paying for that infrastructure that we need to bring large amounts of clean and affordable energy to the region from nearby sources of hydropower and natural gas.
Most of the focus in recent months has been on the latter question. But some environmental advocates oppose the expanded use of natural gas and hydroelectric power from eastern Canada into New England–and are doing their best to make it an election year issue.
So rather than take the bait and turn what’s been a highly productive and non-partisan effort to secure New England’s economic future into a political football, the committee appears to be taking this opportunity to focus more of its attention on the question of where in New England additional energy is most needed–now and in the future.
Making sure Connecticut and New England is not left behind when it comes to plentiful sources of clean, affordable energy–sources that other regions are already embracing and benefiting from–should continue to be a top priority for all the region’s states.
That the governors recognize the critical importance of this challenge and are making significant efforts to put politics aside and work together on a non-partisan basis is to be applauded and encouraged.
This issue will be discussed in more detail and the upcoming annual Energy Conference on October 8 sponsored by CBIA and the Connecticut Power and Energy Society.