Connecticut is one of 14 jurisdictions signed on to the Transportation and Climate Initiative.
Connecticut became one of the early states to rebuke President Trump’s disavowal of the Paris climate accord with a decision Friday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to join a fast-growing coalition of states, cities, businesses and universities intent on ensuring the U.S. still acts to reduce greenhouse gases.
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.
The raid on the Green Bank and other clean energy programs to help plug the state’s huge budget deficit is bringing together groups often at odds. Environmentalists and business interests, including the state’s most prominent business lobby, agree the raid is a bad idea.
Budget crises require tough, but necessary choices. They do not require self-inflicted wounds. Raiding $22 million from clean energy and efficiency programs funded by proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as the proposed budget from the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee does, is a self-inflicted wound.
Gov. Dan Malloy takes his mantra of “cheaper, cleaner, more reliable” energy to the voters, while his Republican challenger, Tom Foley, emphasizes relying on market forces and evolving technology to bring down energy costs.
Connecticut met an initial goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 and is on track to meet the next goal of going 10-percent those levels by 2020, according to a progress report issued Friday.
It took a day or so for the smoke to clear on the House version of the budget -– and once it did, the energy and environment community was aghast. Funding for the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority –- the state’s first-in-the-nation green bank — had been commandeered for general revenue. More than 20 percent was redirected in fiscal year 2014, and nearly all of it the following year.