Measure snubs EPA, other states by being first to label byproduct hazardous waste
The state legislature once again is poised to display a penchant for putting Connecticut at the national forefront on issues important to environmental activists—but not in the state's best interests.
A proposed amendment to SB 237 is designed to satisfy activists (many from out-of-state) who want to put pressure on New York and Pennsylvania to stop extracting natural gas through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).
These activists are opposed natural gas, large-scale hydropower and other affordable and reliable energy sources that would help Connecticut and New England become more competitive using cleaner fuels..
Their strategy is to get Connecticut (where fracking doesn't occur) to pass tough anti-fracking legislation to use as ammunition in an anti-natural gas crusade in states such as New York and Pennsylvania, where fracking does occur.
Specifically, the amendment would make Connecticut the first state in the nation to designate wastewaters from hydraulic fracturing as hazardous waste--putting us in direct conflict with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
At the same time, state regulators are in sensitive negotiations with other states in an effort to increase Connecticut’s capability to import natural gas from New York and Pennsylvania to help meet our high demand for natural gas.
But if this measure passes, our negotiators will likely face accusations that Connecticut wants the natural gas while passing legislation that’s hostile to the production of that gas.
CBIA urges lawmakers to reject this legislation because:
- Many state and federal regulations are already in place governing all wastewaters--including those from hydraulic fracturing
- It’s not worth sending a message to the marketplace that Connecticut is hostile to the production of natural gas in our region at the same time we are trying to acquire more of it.
What’s more, most experts believe it is extremely unlikely these wastewaters will ever come to Connecticut.
CBIA encourages lawmakers to reject SB 237 and the amendment as counterproductive to Connecticut’s energy needs and the state’s economy.