Connecticut will defend the recently-repealed Clean Power Plan

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, talks to a reporter after speaking at Whayne Supply in Hazard, Ky, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. Pruitt says the Trump administration will abandon the Obama-era clean power plan aimed at reducing global warming. Connecticut will join several other states to defend the recently-repealed Clean Power Plan.(AP Photo/Adam Beam)

Connecticut will join several other states to defend the recently-repealed Clean Power Plan.

“Because the Trump Administration’s EPA has clearly demonstrated that it has no interest in doing its job when it comes to carbon emissions, Connecticut will join with colleagues in other states in action to defend the Clean Power Plan and protect the health, safety and well-being of our residents,” Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said in a press release on Oct. 10.

Jepsen called the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan “disappointing” in the release.

Jepsen said the EPA is responsible for regulating carbon emissions, which is especially important in Connecticut because the state has coastline and other natural resources that are linked to its economy.

University of Connecticut Office of Environmental Policy Director Rich Miller said, though it’s unfortunate that there won’t be a federal regulatory driver to accelerate the transition to cleaner power, the United States is already moving toward more environmentally and economically sustainable energy technologies.

“Even coal-burning states in the Midwest and South have significantly reduced their reliance on coal, which is by far the most carbon-intensive fuel, over the past decade,” Miller said. “They’ve gradually shifted to natural gas-fired power plants, not just because (they’re) cleaner but because (they’re) relatively abundant and a lot cheaper now.”

Miller said solar and wind power are very cost-competitive even when compared to the cleanest fossil fuel, natural gas.

“Add certain economic incentives provided by states like Connecticut, and we’ll begin to see more large-scale renewable projects being constructed,” he said.

Miller said UConn is currently looking at opportunities to obtain power from renewable energy sources installed on campus or elsewhere in Connecticut.

“We’re already in the middle of a three-year contract that requires 100 percent of the electricity we purchase from the grid, for use at Storrs and our regional campuses, to be renewable—usually in the form of credits bought from large-scale renewable energy sources,” Miller said.

Fifth-semester environmental science major Julia Kendzierski said she is disappointed by the decision but she is glad Connecticut remains dedicated to the plan’s initiatives.

“It’s disheartening that the EPA would repeal something as beneficial as the Clean Power Plan,” Kendzierski said. “However, it’s nice to know that states like Connecticut are still doing all they can to push renewable energy.”


Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.