Hartford, CT - With less than two weeks left in the 2019 legislative session, the General Assembly has yet to act on climate and clean energy legislation before them. A coalition of climate, clean energy, and environmental advocates are urging the legislature to take bold action to fight climate change and provide an equitable transition to a clean energy economy for Connecticut.
Background: House and Senate leadership and Chairs of the Energy and Technology Committee are in the process of amending the New Green Economy bill this week for action in the coming days. It is uncertain how the bill will be amended and which priorities may or may not be included for consideration.
The advocates and organizations calling for action on these issues are the following:
Acadia Center – Amy Mclean Salls 860-246-7121 ext 204
Citizens Campaign for the Environment – Louis Rosado Burch 475-434-1606
Clean Water Action – Anne Hulick 860-232-6232
Connecticut Citizen Action Group – Tom Swan- 860-729-5712
Connecticut League of Conservation Voters – Amanda Schoen 860-770-9487
CT Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound – Leah Schmalz 203-787-0646 ext 121
Efficiency For All – Jennifer Dionne
Energy Efficiencies Solutions – Rebecca Castro Baez
Environment Connecticut – Chris Phelps 860-836-9353
Green Eco Warriors – Edgardo Mejias
The Nature Conservancy – David Sutherland 860-508-0222
Sierra Club Connecticut – Samantha Dynowski 860-916-3639
"A pro-environment majority swept into office in the 2018 elections with a mandate to do something about our climate crisis," said Lori Brown, Executive Director of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters. "Thousands of Connecticut residents have rallied, marched, signed petitions, and demanded action to create a green economy, but many in the legislature are slow to move. The proposals we've suggested for the Green Economy have broad, bipartisan support and would help lower energy costs, end our reliance on fossil fuels, and promote an equitable transition to clean energy. It's time for our lawmakers to take a stand."
"States from coast to coast are taking action to fight climate change with bold steps such as committing to 100 percent renewable and zero carbon energy," said Chris Phelps, Environment Connecticut State Director. "Connecticut's families and businesses can't afford for the legislature to fail to act on climate and clean energy in 2019," said Chris Phelps, Environment Connecticut.
"This Bill was introduced on the first day of the legislative session with a promise of significant climate action and job creation. Unfortunately, it now looks like this promise will not be kept. The people of Connecticut deserve better and I urge lawmakers to make this legislation truly meaningful," said Ann Gadwah, Chapter Chair, Sierra Club Connecticut.
"Connecticut stands at an energy crossroads- we can either move forward as a state by investing in clean, renewable energy and efficiency, or we can remain shackled to the outdated fuel sources of the past," said Louis Rosado Burch, CT Program Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "What we need now is real leadership from our elected leaders, not empty rhetoric and promises. We can no longer afford to be fossil fools! By advancing policies like real community solar, and making meaningful investments in offshore wind, we can build a New Green Economy for Connecticut, and begin the transition away from dirty energy sources that pollute our air & water and impact our health."
"The energy affordability gap in Connecticut is a huge burden on many households, therefore it is important that we decrease energy waste through residential efficiency programs while we simultaneously increase our clean energy resources. This is the best path to closing the affordability gap while keeping our economy and our environment front and center," said Leticia Colon de Mejias, Efficiency for All.
"Connecticut, once a climate leader, has become a climate laggard. But that can change: new climate goals established last year require bold climate action this year. This suite of policies, along with a several other critical bills currently before the legislature, will slash climate pollution, build a green economy, and save families and businesses money. We urge our legislators to finish this session with a clear climate conscience," said Leah Schmalz, chief program officer of CT Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound.
"Climate Change is the most pervasive threat facing our world today. Fortunately, some of the initiatives that would most effectively address it would also provide opportunities to create high-quality jobs and transform our economy," said David Sutherland, Director of Government Relations – The Nature Conservancy’s Connecticut Chapter.
"Remaking the transportation and energy systems must be a core part of Connecticut’s new economic strategy. Newly- unleashed investment and innovation will drive economic progress, improved quality of life, and more equitable benefits for all residents and communities. Legislator’s hold the key to passing good energy policy and the time is now," said Amy Mclean Salls, CT Director and Senior Policy Advocate, Acadia Center.