Legislators Send Letter to DEEP Regarding Draft Notice for Zero Carbon Energy

Posted on July 20, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – Led by State Representative Kathleen McCarty (R-Waterford), lawmakers from all over Southeastern Connecticut joined together last week in an opinion-editorial to urge the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to amend its draft RFP (Request for Proposals) that essentially excludes Millstone from participating in a competitive auction for zero carbon electricity until 2023. The legislators reminded DEEP of their responsibility to comply with a law passed last year which requires that Millstone be allowed to compete in a competitive auction for carbon-free resources.

This week, legislators from across the state have joined Rep. McCarty’s effort, with the help of Senator Paul Formica, and sent a letter directly to DEEP Commissioner Klee. In the letter, 46 Representatives and 9 Senators in a bipartisan manner informed DEEP of the adverse economic and environmental ramifications of a premature closing of Millstone.

“While we are pleased that DEEP recently issued a draft RFP, we were shocked and dismayed to discover DEEP is ignoring the legislative intent of the law,” the legislators wrote. “Unfortunately, in the draft RFP, DEEP usurped legislative authority by defining a new term, “at risk time period” to 2023, which would significantly delay the time frame of potential contracts for certain resources. This language is inappropriate and unfair.

“Millstone Power Station – the source of 50% of the state’s power, 90% of its carbon-free electricity and 1500 jobs – is the only resource participating in the comprehensive “At Risk” determination process and thus is the only resource potentially impacted. What’s more,” they continue, “DEEP waited until it knew that Millstone was the only resource seeking “At Risk” treatment before it defined the new term. This language in the draft RFP is unacceptable and MUST be removed before the Final RFP is issued on July 31, 2018. If Millstone is determined to be an existing resource confirmed At Risk, the risk is NOW and it should not be forced to wait until 2023 to be treated as such.”

DEEP has confirmed the receipt of this letter and states that they “appreciate” the legislators’ input and “will take [their] comments into consideration.”

View a copy of the letter here.

Signatories include:

Representatives:
Ackert
Belsito
Betts
Bocchino
Bolinsky
Buckbee
Camillo
Candelora, V.
Carney
Cheeseman
Conley
Cummings
D’Amelio
Davis
de la Cruz
Delnicki
Dubitsky
Dunsby
Floren
France
Green
Hall
Klarides, T.
Kokoruda
McCarty
O’Dea
Orange
Petit
Piscopo
Riley
Reed
Rutigliano
Ryan
Siegrist
Simanski
Skulczyck
Smith
Soto
Srinivasan
Storms
Tweedie
Vail
Wilms
Wilson
Yaccarino
Ziobron

Senators:
Fasano
Formica
Frantz
Hwang
MacLachlan
Martin
Miner
Osten
Somers

Southeastern Delegation Responds to DEEP’s Draft Notice Regarding Zero Carbon Energy (Opinion-Editorial)

Posted on July 13, 2018 by admin


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Last year, Connecticut’s General Assembly passed a bipartisan bill that offers the potential of lowering electricity costs for Connecticut’s ratepayers. The bill authorized energy regulators to conduct a competitive auction for carbon-free resources if they determined it was necessary.  The bill created a path forward for Connecticut to meet its energy, environmental and economic goals.  Importantly, the bill also would potentially protect Millstone Power Station, the source of 50% of the state’s power and 90% of its carbon free electricity and 1500 jobs, by allowing it to compete in the competitive auction too.

Unfortunately, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), is charting a different course than the legislation directed.  The legislature directed DEEP to conduct a competitive auction for zero carbon electricity and to allow Millstone to participate, if regulators determined that it was necessary. They made the determination in February that it was necessary.

Now, after beginning the process, DEEP is unilaterally changing the legislative intent of the law by inserting language into the draft Request for Proposals that would essentially exclude Millstone’s offer from being considered until June 1, 2023.  They do so by creating a new term and definition, “at risk time period” that does not exist in the statute. DEEP must eliminate this definition in the final Request for Proposals in order to be in compliance with the legislative intent of the law.  Otherwise, DEEP will be usurping the legislative authority from the women and men elected to represent the people of this state.

Dominion Energy, the owner and operator of Millstone Power Station, acted in good faith throughout the entire legislative process. It has responded to all legislative and regulatory requests, including voluntarily providing its proprietary and independently audited financial data. If Millstone is the winning bidder in the competitive auction, its contract has to take effect now and not in 2023.  That is what the legislature intended by passing and enacting Public Act No. 17-3.

What’s more, Dominion Energy is facing an important decision now about investing more than 700 million dollars into Millstone Power Station to maintain exemplary operations. Neither Dominion Energy, nor the workers at Millstone Power Station, nor the ratepayers, nor Connecticut can afford the delayed implementation of the auction to 2023.

A premature retirement of Millstone will certainly result in higher electricity costs for Connecticut’s ratepayers, the loss of thousands of jobs, thirty million in local taxes, 1.5 billion to the state economy and the inability of the state to meet its clean air goals. The adverse economic and environmental ramifications cannot be overemphasized.

The debate over the future of Millstone has been settled by the legislature.  It is the job of Connecticut’s energy regulators to follow the legislature’s will. The Southeastern delegation cannot overstate the urgency and necessity for them to comply with the legislative intent of Public Act 17-3.

We urge DEEP to amend its draft RFP, eliminate the language regarding the 2023 start date and comply with the law enacted.

Sincerely,

Rep. Holly Cheeseman (R-37)

Rep. Kathleen McCarty (R-38)

Rep. Mike France (R-42)

Rep. Devin Carney (R-23)

Rep. Christine Conley (D-40)

Sen. Heather Somers (R-18)

Rep. Chris Soto (D-39)

Rep. Emmett Riley (D-46)

Rep. Kevin Ryan (D-139)

Rep. Linda Orange (D-48)

Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34)

Rep. Doug Dubitsky (R-47)

Rep. Kevin Skulczyck (R-45)

Sen. Paul Formica (R-40)

Sen. Cathy Osten (D-19)

Rep. Joe De La Cruz (D-41)

Roadwork on Route 82 in Salem

Posted on July 12, 2018 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Transportation is continuing their 2018 Vendor Resurfacing Program with milling work on a 4.32 mile segment of Route 82 in Salem, Montville and Bozrah starting Monday, July 16th. Resurfacing will begin on Tuesday, July 24th and is expected to conclude on Monday, August 6th.

 

Please expect lane closures to occur on Route 82 from Route 354 in Salem, through Montville, to South Road in Bozrah. Traffic control personnel and signing patterns will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The regular work schedule for this project is Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions. As always, please maintain a safe speed when driving through this vicinity.

Rep. Cheeseman to Hold Probate Forum at Senior Center

Posted on July 11, 2018 by admin


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EAST LYME State Representative Holly Cheeseman (R-38)’s probate forum at the East Lyme Senior Center has been postponed from June 25th to Monday, August 27th. Rep. Cheeseman will be joined by Judge Jeffrey McNamara of the Region 32 Probate District, who will present an overview of the role of the regional Probate Courts in Connecticut. He will discuss wills, estates and more and specifically talk about the types of matters the court handles and the services the court provides. There will also be a question and answer segment at the end of the presentation.

When: Monday, August 27, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: East Lyme Senior Center, 37 Society Road, Niantic, CT

This event is free and open to the public. If constituents are unable to attend but would still like to connect with Rep. Cheeseman, please do not hesitate to contact her at Holly.Cheeseman@housegop.ct.gov or (800) 842-1423. In the event that the meeting must be postponed, a notice will be posted on Rep. Cheeseman’s website at www.repcheeseman.com and on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/repcheeseman. Constituents can also sign up for e-mail notifications on her website.

Summer Grants Available Through Operation Fuel

Posted on July 10, 2018 by admin


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Operation Fuel – an agency that helps lower income families, the elderly and disabled who aren’t eligible for government programs heat their homes in the winter – also helps keep them cool in the summer.

 

They are now offering one-time grants of up to $500 to help residents who are in danger of having their utility services cut off because their bills are overdue.

 

Families and individuals facing financial hardship can call 211 to be connected with a local fuel bank to determine if they are eligible for cooling assistance. For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, please visit www.operationfuel.org.

 

Please share this information with others who may benefit!

Roadwork on Route 85 in Salem

Posted on July 10, 2018 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced that beginning on Thursday, July 12th, milling and paving will be conducted on Route 85 in Salem from the Shady Brook Picnic Area to Skyline Drive.

The purpose of this project is to improve overall safety and operation of Route 85. The road has already been widened to improve sightlines and provide for left-turn bypass at commercial entrances. Additional drainage was also installed to alleviate flooding.

Work will be conducted between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Traffic will be maintained utilizing alternating one-way traffic during these allowable time frames.

Please obey the posted speed limit and use caution through this and all other construction work zones. Thank you!