LETTER: Fiorello Understands Connecticut’s Misguided Energy Policies

Submitted by Andy Wainwright, Stamford

Dear Editor:

Sean Goldrick’s letter attacking House Kim Fiorello, Republican candidate for the state House, is a typical smear by someone who doesn’t have the facts about our state’s misguided energy policies. (GOLDRICK: Fiorello is no friend to the Environment Sept 15, 2020) .

Energy rates in Connecticut are the highest in the nation, hurting consumers, the elderly and business. Kim Fiorello understands it’s time to solve the problem, not point fingers.

Whether previous energy bills were Republican, Democrat or bipartisan, they all had a hand in creating the high prices and system restoration problems CT residents are suffering from today. Kim Fiorello intends to vote with only the best interest of the people of her district in mind. Is it so hard to accept that these energy bills were imperfect and to recognize that the larger context of the affordability of energy in Connecticut is an extremely important factor?

According to the EIA, CT is number three in a list of the highest costs states for electricity behind Hawaii and Massachusetts. That’s a problem if we plan on economic recovery, let alone competitiveness. Instead, the legislation spent more money, created new programs and boosted rates from the low teens to more that 20 cents per kilowatt hour today.

It is true that CT is still part of ISO New England, but the Democrats want to change that in order to further “control” Connecticut’s energy future. Unfortunately, that means that Connecticut ratepayers alone will bear the costs associated with building expensive and less reliable energy resources. Instead of fully participating in the wholesale markets to the benefit of consumers, the DEEP bureaucracy wants to examine withdrawing altogether in the latest proposed energy bill.

Shame on the legislature if it gives DEEP and the Attorney General ratepayer money to pursue this fool’s errand. Power prices in the ISO markets are at record lows. Due to the actions of the Legislature and DEEP, Connecticut residents will never know how cheap our power would be if we simply worked constructively within the existing market system.

Renewable energy is important. It is a wise investment and healthy component of a balanced energy portfolio. Much like a stock portfolio, energy resources should include a healthy mix of diverse components that will satisfy our energy needs over the long term. Kim supports incremental investment in these resources to lessen the dependence on any one resource or underlying fuel. But there is no doubt that since 2011, renewable energy programs have exploded and lavishly handed out the money ratepayers struggle to find each month, to the benefit of a few. It is also important to note that while Hartford has been busy fighting carbon emissions in the power sector at inflated prices (twice the market price or more), it somehow missed that more than half of the state’s trash management infrastructure – an industry that employs thousands of residents — was left to decay in its own back yard. If greenhouse gasses are problematic, you’d think trash would be a higher priority. But that’s assuming reducing emissions was the goal in the first place.

The Green Bank is also an innovative tool. But it isn’t a bank and it has become another bloated state bureaucracy built around subsidy and questionable high-risk investments. It always seems to be in a frenzy to get more authority, hand out more money and fill its employment rolls with politically connected spouses at the ratepayers’ expense. Moderation is a virtue CT government just can’t seem to grasp.

Kim Fiorello is a friend to the environment and you can count on her to evaluate proposals based on facts, not buzzwords, and by asking the tough questions about the value propositions behind the concepts and the actual costs and benefits to Connecticut residents. 

Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor in support of local candidates in the Nov 3, 2020 election may be submitted to [email protected] for consideration beginning July 15 and with a hard deadline of Oct 26, 2020 at noon.