Former Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (when it was still called that) chief Gina McCarthy has gotten herself onto a hot seat for the Environmental Protection Agency where she’s hung her hat during the Obama administration as the EPA’s assistant administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation. Politico reports that McCarthy had to answer […]
Energy & Environment
As climate change continues to impact Connecticut, keep up with the latest news on environmental legislation, energy, coastal resilience, pollution, and land use.
State renews permit for Bridgeport Harbor Station Coal Plant
After receiving a record number of comments from the public, the state has renewed the operating permit for Connecticut’s lone coal-fired power plant in Bridgeport. Environmental advocates from groups such as the Sierra Club, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, and the Bridgeport-based Healthy Connecticut Alliance had worked for months to bring more than 150 […]
Was Reagan right about trees?
Ronald Reagan’s much maligned assertion in 1981 that: “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do,” may have more truth to it than most folks imagined. Researchers at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies have discovered that trees right here in Connecticut that are diseased by fungi can emit high concentrations of methane – […]
Malloy noncommittal on resetting RGGI
The pressure is ticking up on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and nine other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic governors participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — the nation’s first carbon dioxide trading and reduction program. Letters went out Thursday to all 10 RGGI (pronounced reggie) state governors asking them to support adjusting the program to make […]
A new tool for state’s energy reduction drive
A second critical piece of the process to help agencies reduce energy use 10 percent by January, as mandated in the 2011 energy law, is moving into place. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection today unveils its performance contract program — also required in that law. Performance contracts finance energy efficiency projects with the […]
Malloy names Caron to utilities regulatory authority
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy appointed former state Rep. Michael Caron, a Republican, on Thursday to serve as a director of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, a three-member panel responsible for regulating rates and services of electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunications providers. Caron represented Killingly and Plainfield in the House of Representatives from 1991 through […]
One-third of Environment Committee gets failing grade
Nine of 28 members of the legislature’s Environment Committee got failing grades in an environmental scorecard issued today by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, and Democrats outscored Republicans by a widening margin. Overall, the legislature got improving grades from 2011 to 2012, when the average score jumped from 76 percent to 91 percent. A […]
Hartford Wins $10 Million for Smart Growth
A federal grant of $10 million is set to help Hartford become a city of bikers, walkers, and public transportation users instead of drivers. The grant, announced last week, is part of the TIGER program begun by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2009. Several dozen cities and towns across the country, out of hundreds […]
Murphy seeks open floodgates for Connecticut dams
Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5th District, won House approval Tuesday for legislations that would allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to license the towns of Canton, Avon and Burlington so they can reactive two old power-producing dams. The towns have wanted to operate the two Collinsville dams, built in the 18th and 19th centuries, to produce […]
Sea levels rising fastest in a “Northeast Hot Spot”
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey say that in the past 20 years, the sea level has risen more in an area they call the “Northeast hot spot” than anywhere else on the continent, a finding they say was unexpected. “We were interested in whether sea level rise was accelerating within the United States,” said […]
State green bank chief: entrepreneurial spirit in a government suit
Bryan T. Garcia, the president of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, calls himself a believer in the philosophy of hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take,” Garcia quotes Gretzky as famously saying — and quotes him often.
State’s energy strategy likely to increase fees
There was a nugget of news in the big energy speech Gov. Dannel P. Malloy gave at the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships’ annual summit Thursday, which happened to be in his hometown of Stamford. Turns out the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also Thursday released its long-term energy strategy known as the Integrated Resource […]
Take a deep breath and thank Reggi
Power plant carbon dioxide emissions down through the cap-and-trade program in the Northeast (known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or reggi)? By 23 percent, according to the NYTimes’ Green blog? We’ll take that!
Major energy legislation is a last minute casualty
A huge energy bill with a number of critical components for running key state programs is another major casualty in this session, despite non-stop efforts over the last several days in particular to craft language acceptable to those who could assure its passage.
GMO labeling: technically alive, but realistically dead
The prospect of Connecticut passing groundbreaking first-of-its-kind legislation to label genetically modified food is basically nonexistent. Late last week lawyers from the Legislative Commissioners’ Office forced sponsors to gut the bill so that even if it passes — still a long shot — it would be little more than a statement of concern about GMOs, […]