The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. Received Oct. 28, 2020.
By now you may have seen my opponent’s attack pinning the recent increases in Eversource rates on one of my votes when I previously served in the legislature. She told you I voted for SB 1501 and gave money to Eversource. In fact I voted for a bill requiring the state to conduct an appraisal of nuclear power-generating facilities and solicit bids for zero-carbon electricity-generating resources. Here’s what else she didn’t tell you:
SB 1501 was passed through both chambers of the legislature with bipartisan votes and was signed by then Governor Malloy into law as Public Act 17-3. This law required state regulators from DEEP and PURA to study the economic viability of the Millstone plant, which Dominion asserted would shut down without state financial assistance.
The Millstone Power Station supplies more than 90 percent of the carbon-free electricity generated in Connecticut, and in fact is the largest carbon-free generator in all of New England. Millstone directly employs more than 1,400 people and supports a total of nearly 4,000 jobs in-state. The plant’s annual payroll is nearly $100 million. Operation of Millstone produces about $1.5 billion in annual economic benefits to Connecticut.
After a multi-year review conducted by DEEP and PURA, the agencies found that Millstone was at risk of retirement, and importantly, that it would cost the state’s ratepayers an estimated $1.8 billion (2017 dollars) to replace the generation and that regional emissions would still increase by 20 percent. This act also led to three of the first grid scale solar projects that have become part of Connecticut’s energy framework and also allowed the state to enter in the agreement with offshore renewable wind suppliers. If you would like to learn more about the Zero Carbon Resource Selections that DEEP and PURA chose in 2018 as a result of this act, click here
The fact of the matter is I voted for the bill because it protected thousands of jobs for Southern Connecticut residents, and it protected the environment from huge increases in regional carbon emissions from the dirty fossil fuels that would have had to have been used in 2017 to meet Connecticut’s energy needs without Millstone. The kicker? Eversource LOBBIED AGAINST this bill, so how can I be in their pocket when I voted for it?
Former State Representative
(R) – 36th District