Covid-19 has captured our attention at the moment, with good reason, but we can’t let it be a reason to ignore the other existential problems we face. The effects of climate change are no longer something on the horizon, I think they are increasingly apparent and harmful in the here and now. Our state needs to take action on a number of climate related fronts, including passing H.B. 5350, An Act Concerning Natural Gas Infrastructure. This bill will repeal the pipeline tax that has allowed the utilities to make us pay for construction of a vast regional expansion through surcharges on our bills. Connecticut’s gas consumption has been on the decline. In what world does it make sense to keep saddling ratepayers with building pipelines when the need doesn’t exist?
Connecticut can choose a cleaner path of wind, solar, and other energy resources that don’t add to the climate change problems we face. H.B. 5350 will remove language from the existing statute granting utilities the authority to allow ‘pipeline investments’ to be charged to ratepayers, and clear the way for PURA to add cleaner energy to the grid. If we are serious about achieving our goals of reducing carbon emissions to zero by mid century, I believe we must aggressively seek the removal of fossil fuels from the electricity grid. This is an opportunity to take meaningful steps toward that. I implore the state legislature to pass H.B. 5350 as soon as possible.