Back To The Future: State Budget Raids Ratepayer Clean Energy Funds – Again

Statement of Environment Connecticut Campaign Director Christopher Phelps opposing budget raids of global warming and clean energy funds

Environment Connecticut

Hartford, CT – “In the words of Yogi Berra, it’s ‘déjà vu all over again’ at the state capitol this year. Once again the legislature is resorting to a budget-balancing gimmick used repeatedly in previous years that hurts electric ratepayers, kills jobs, and harms our environment. Despite their past pledges not to do so, the proposed state budget raids revenue from the regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI) and the ratepayer-funded clean energy finance and investment authority fund (CEFIA).”

“This move takes tens of millions of dollars from existing programs that help families cut their energy bills, create jobs building solar and other clean energy systems, and cut carbon pollution. Electric ratepayers pay into these funds for the express purpose of building clean energy systems, reducing energy costs, and cutting pollution. Now those payments are being diverted to close the budget gap as nothing more than a backdoor tax on electric bills.”

“Unlike our neighboring states who are going big on commitments to clean energy, Connecticut is going backwards. The legislature has already taken steps to rollback the renewable electricity standard this year. Now they are poised to eviscerate programs that build new clean energy systems in our communities. This budget raid puts residential solar power programs, clean energy financing programs for small businesses, and more at risk. In return the state gets a one-time shot of revenue for the budget and a long-term loss of clean energy jobs and we fall farther and farther behind our neighbors in the race to build a clean energy future.”

“We urge the legislature and Governor Malloy to reverse this foolish raid of clean energy funding and keep the ratepayer-funded clean energy programs serving their purpose of creating jobs, reducing energy costs for families, and cutting the carbon pollution that fuels global warming.”