Its name won’t directly reflect it, but Governor Dannel Malloy and new DEP commissioner Dan Esty have made it clear that the proposed Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will prominently focus on a third “E”—the economy—in its core mission. 

Department of Environmental Protection, Esty said “We do have a lot to do to transform this department into a Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. And as all of you who work here have heard me say, we're going to have a third 'E,' and that's the economy, in mind every day. We do have to contribute to the governor's agenda of rebuilding a platform for economic growth."

HB 6386,as proposed by Gov. Malloy, is designed to formally unite and potentially better integrate energy and environmental policies in the state. In approving the bill this week, the Environment Committee added language to insure that the vision of the Governor and Commissioner is captured in the statute creating the new agency.  

Under the unanimously approved language, DEEP’s environmental mission will include fulfilling its conservation and protection functions "in such a manner as to encourage the social and economic development in Connecticut . . ."

What’s more, the new agency's mission with respect to energy will include a strong focus on cost, reliability and job creation. 

Good work

CBIA greatly appreciates the leadership of Senate committee co-chair Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) and House ranking member, Clark Chapin (R-New Milford) and the support of all the members of the committee. Their work will ensure that the spirit of the new agency--articulated by Gov. Malloy and DEP Commissioner Dan Esty--as committed to promoting both environmental and economic prosperity will be enshrined in statute when the new agency is created. 

For years, natural tensions and conflicting policies and priorities in state government between energy and environmental areas have sometimes led to inconsistent and diverse administrative interpretations and outcomes. 

Businesses are hopeful that the hope the proposed merger will resolve many of these challenges and lead to greater certainty and predictability. These clear mission statements should be a big help.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or eric.brown@cbia.com.