Energy Talks Collapse at the Capitol
The energy expended by lawmakers to strike a deal on legislation addressing concerns about restoring electric power after major storms apparently could not continue to legislators’ ability to make progress on other important aspects of energy policy.
The legislature adopted SB 23—a bill that took priority during the session—establishing new standards and penalties around utilities’ power-restoration efforts.
But opportunities provided in other energy-related proposals were lost in the shuffle.
When the session began in February, many significant proposals were raised and considered by a number of committees, including measures that would have benefited businesses in the state by:
- Focusing resources on addressing the need for adequate natural gas infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for this clean and cheap power source
- Expanding the options for meeting Connecticut’s very aggressive renewable portfolio standards to avoid cost increases in the coming years
- Removing the cap on energy efficiency investments for oil-heated homes which would have provided work for hundreds of residential energy efficiency installers
- Allowing businesses to become more energy efficient with little or no upfront costs and permitting them to pay for the investment over time with their energy savings
- Providing additional financing tools to the state’s green bank which would have spurred greater investment in clean energy
Unfortunately, these and other important measures will have to wait.
Just a week ago, it appeared that the annual ritual of feverish, last-minute negotiations between House and Senate Energy Committee chairs on a final package of energy initiatives would again take place this year.
But as the final hours of the 2012 legislative session ticked away Wednesday night, the chairs were unable to move these positive measures forward.
CBIA encourages lawmakers to again take up the proposals that would improve Connecticut’s energy infrastructure and help reduce costs.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or email@example.com.
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