With TV ads and ferocious lobbying on both sides of the issue, it’s unclear whether any legislation to help out the Millstone Nuclear Power Station will survive this legislative session. A delay in the release of an updated state energy strategy isn’t helping matters.
Not without drama, the legislature’s Appropriations Committee voted Monday to approve and send to the Senate two of the session’s most controversial bills: one affecting the profitability of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station and another permitting the first casino off tribal lands.
Lobbyists crowded into a committee room at the General Assembly to watch the inevitable advance Tuesday of a bill that sponsors say would simultaneously lower electric rates and stabilize profits generated by the Millstone Nuclear Power Station. Opponents say the bill would cost ratepayers and produce a windfall for the plant’s owner, Dominion Resources of Virginia.
The three-year update to Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy, underway now, faces dramatically changed energy, environmental and political landscapes that raise questions about whether the first strategy, with its focus on natural gas, may have partially wasted the last three years.
Updated 1 a.m. Tuesday
The Senate delayed a vote Monday on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s major criminal justice initiative, An Act Concerning a Second Chance Society, raising questions about whether it had sufficient Democratic votes to pass before the session ends at midnight Wednesday. Other bills were being held as leverage in budget talks.
A national campaign by the nuclear industry to stabilize profits in a volatile energy market scored a victory Friday night with the unanimous passage of bipartisan legislation changing the rules for procuring electricity in Connecticut, a state heavily reliant on nuclear power.
Evan Bayh, the former governor of a coal-burning, nuclear-free state, arrived in Hartford as the smiling face of the nuclear power industry Thursday, making a soft sell for Connecticut to consider ways to keep its Millstone station economically viable.
The economic viability of the Millstone nuclear station in Waterford, the largest power plant in New England and a crucial factor in Connecticut’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, is about to become a major issue in Hartford.
The Millstone Nuclear Power Station can increase its intake water temperature limit. This comes in the aftermath of a shutdown in 2012 when the water temperature was too warm.