Saying the measure would have raised electric rates for Connecticut consumers—not reduced them as some claimed—Gov. Rell has vetoed a massive energy proposal (SB-493) the legislature approved at the very end of the 2010 session.

The bill would have expanded state government by creating a new state agency, the Connecticut Energy and Technology Authority.

“In the midst of this great recession and our well-known state budget challenges,” said the Governor, “I cannot ask our already overburdened and over-taxed residents and businesses to bear the additional burden of the costs associated with this bill.”

According to the state’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, the costs of this government expansion would have been significant.

Costly renewable sources

And while Connecticut needs to develop alternate sources of energy because of the state’s high energy costs, SB-493 called for investments in various renewable energy sources beyond ratepayers’ ability to afford them.

The lion’s share of these investments was dedicated to solar energy—one of the most expensive types of renewable energy sources, and more costly than other fuels used in Connecticut.

With an estimated cost to ratepayers of $1.4 billion over the life of the new solar programs, said the Governor, “ it is simply not the right time to make an investment of this magnitude.”

Last-minute legislation

The Governor also noted that the proposal surfaced at the very end of the legislative session and as a result did not go through a formal public hearing process.

Businesses and industry representatives were not able to weigh in on the massive bill before lawmakers voted on it.

CBIA and other employer organizations throughout the state applaud the Governor’s veto because the bill’s high costs would have been damaging to the state’s business community and economy.

For more information, contact Kevin Hennessy at 860.244.1979 or kevin.hennessy@cbia.com.