To the Editor:
The effects of climate change are no longer something on the horizon, they are increasingly apparent and harmful right now, today. Understandably, our focus has been drawn elsewhere for the past few months, but we cannot lose sight of how immediate our need for strong, decisive climate action is. One simple, relatively easy objective that will have a huge positive impact will be the passage of H.B. 5350, “An Act Concerning Natural Gas Infrastructure,” through the Connecticut State Legislature.
This bill will finally 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 is on the decline and has been since before this crisis began. We have no reason to keep building pipelines when the need does not exist, and we have no reason to saddle the people of Connecticut with the cost.
Connecticut can choose a cleaner path of wind, solar, and other energy resources that do not add to the problems we already face. We cannot do that if we are wasting our resources and untold billions of ratepayer dollars on polluting gas pipelines. 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 midcentury, we must aggressively seek the removal of fossil fuels from the electricity grid. We have an opportunity to take a meaningful step toward that, but that can only happen if we pass this bill. I implore the state legislature to pass H.B. 5350 as soon as possible.
Dallas Emerle, Working Families Party
26 Russ St., Hartford, CT 06106
Email: Brent.Emerle@trincoll.edu / Telephone: 978.877.0942