Malloy to enviro group: Your goals are my goals

Gov.-elect Dan Malloy made an unscheduled visit Wednesday to the year’s largest gathering of environmental policymakers and advocates, and told the crowd he would be “highly supportive of your goals, which are my goals.”

Malloy arrived at the annual summit of  the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters just before noon. He walked to the front of the Hartford Jaycees Boathouse and took the podium where day panels had discussed energy, transportation, and green jobs.

“I don’t have any major announcement to make today, other than that I’m here,” he said at one point in his brief remarks. The crowd was clearly happy to see him.

He spoke first of the economy, and next about the environment.

“I thought the recession that we’re still living with would be like the eight prior recessions. But we can’t predict that kind of recovery for another 24 months,” he said. “By February I have to propose a budget. I will tell you it is my intention to be highly supportive of your goals, which are my goals.”

He listed funds for Long Island Sound and rivers, forests and farms, and “how we move people around the state.” He said he did not want the environment to be a lower priority than other issues, although he also said that for 22 years Connecticut has not seen job growth.

And in typical fashion, Malloy reeled off a few statistics: “Connecticut’s electricity is 76 percent higher than the national average and 21 percent higher than New England.” His point, he went on, that it costs too much to live and work here now.

“I’m particularly interested in transportation policy and energy policy,” he said. “You’ll see some early steps by my administration on those fronts. We will deal with the long, festering unaddressed, long-ignored issues in our state.”

Asked about last session’s energy bill, which Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed, Malloy said he hoped that the legislature would take a different approach than “to cram everything into a 5-pound bag and throw it at the legislature at the last minute and hope that there will be no discussion.” He said he would rather see the issues taken “in smaller bites” and added that he will be “a governor who is engaged on the energy issue.”