State Takes on Regional Energy, Environment Challenges
Connecticut has joined forces with other New England and Northeastern states to take on some of the region’s biggest energy and environmental challenges.
New England Unites on Energy
Gov. Malloy and all five other New England governors last week announced they are collaborating to identify and support the private-sector electrical transmission and natural gas pipeline projects that will best lower the cost of energy in the region.
The governors’ agreement could be a big deal for Connecticut businesses and residents, who currently pay some of the highest energy costs in the country.
“Connecticut has an unprecedented opportunity to access clean, nearby, plentiful, reliable and affordable energy thanks to large-scale hydropower to our north and huge deposits of natural gas just to our west,” said CBIA’s Eric Brown who lobbies on energy and environmental issues.
The key challenge now is to build the infrastructure needed to bring this energy to homes and businesses throughout New England—and that’s what the governors aim to accomplish.
Not only is this a potential benefit for energy customers, it also could open the door for private-sector investors to work with the states to finance and otherwise facilitate expansion of the energy infrastructure.
Making sure that the prospective government and private-sector energy infrastructure investments are strategically planned will require regional coordination and cooperation, which the agreement is intended to address.
Looking Upwind to Improve Air Quality
On the environmental front, Connecticut’s inability to measure up to federal air quality standards because of the pollution that drifts here from upwind states to our south and west is well known.
Many of these upwind states—such as Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia—have failed to enact the type of tough environmental standards that Connecticut businesses have been operating under for years.
But that hasn’t kept state and federal regulators from continually adding new regulatory requirements on Connecticut businesses year after year.
So it’s good news for Connecticut businesses that this week, the state joined with seven other eastern states (Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) in petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose stricter air standards on nine upwind states that contribute significantly to their air quality problems.
“Connecticut is tired of serving as the tailpipe of America,” said Gov. Malloy.
With former Connecticut Commissioner of Environmental Protection Gina McCarthy now heading EPA, there is renewed optimism that her agency will be able to force several southern and Midwestern states to reduce their air pollution that impacts other states, including Connecticut.
For more information on these or other energy or environmental issues, contact Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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