New Analysis Released to Incoming Connecticut Administration
HARTFORD, CT – Today, Acadia Center released new analysis showing the impact a shift toward better transportation infrastructure and cleaner energy would have in improving Connecticut’s economic and environmental future. Acadia Center’s “Memo to the Next Governor of Connecticut” recommends concrete steps that will deliver significant economic, consumer and public health benefits to the state. The analysis shows that modernizing the state’s transportation system alone could produce over $6.9 billion in new economic benefits, add 14,900 new jobs, and create $3.7 billion in public health and other benefits. All told, Acadia Center’s analysis indicates that the state could add about $11 billion in new economic benefits and create about 33,000 new jobs through five transportation and energy reforms.
“Making Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure and its energy system work better for all state residents and businesses is smart economic strategy,” said Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center’s President. “This analysis focuses on five transportation and energy reforms that will have the most direct impact on Connecticut’s economy while also enhancing quality of life for its people and communities. The recommended reforms are achievable, the benefits are concrete, and the time is now to build a stronger Connecticut.”
The memo calls on the new administration to undertake five reforms to achieve these goals and benefits:
1. Modernize transportation infrastructure to improve safety, access, and convenience;
2. Transition power generation to cheaper, cleaner, and more resilient local sources;
3. Improve energy performance in buildings to reduce costly energy use and emissions;
4. Reform energy grid rules to reduce high energy costs and speed energy innovation;
5. Give communities and consumers more control over their energy choices.
“This new analysis underscores how important it is to remake Connecticut’s transportation and energy systems as a core part of the state’s new economic strategy,” said Amy McLean Salls, Acadia Center’s Connecticut Director. “Newly-unleashed investments and innovation will drive economic progress, improve quality of life, and extend benefits to communities and residents who have historically been overlooked.”
“The five recommended reforms complement Governor-Elect Lamont’s plans to create new economic growth and jobs in the state. These reforms will help make that vision of a more prosperous and livable Connecticut a reality,” said McLean Salls.
The consortium has been lauded for its success in achieving carbon dioxide emissions reductions and extensive investment in clean energy technology. A 2016 report by the Acadia Center found RGGI states reduced emissions by 16 percent more than other states while energy prices fell by an average of 3.4 percent. The regional permit auctions have generated more than $2.7 billion in proceeds used to build a cleaner energy system, and healthcare cost savings from emissions reductions are estimated to be nearly $6 billion.
Read the full article from The National Law Review here.
While a number of environmental groups had advocated for deeper emissions reductions over the past year, all expressed support of the agreement, with Peter Shattuck, director of the Acadia Center, a Boston-based advocacy group, telling The Boston Globe “This is what climate leadership looks like.” Significantly, the New England Power Generators Association (NEPGA), which has opposed emissions reduction mandates for not considering the burden on its members, praised the new agreement, as it has the RGGI in general. “Market-based programs provide the most efficient, competitive, and lowest-risk way to address climate change,” said NEPGA President Dan Dolan in The Globe.
The Acadia Club [sic] has found that RGGI states have reduced their emissions by 16 percent more than other states while seeing economic growth of 3.6 percent more than those states. Energy prices fell by an average of 3.4 percent while rising by an average of 7.2 percent in non-RGGI states. Those numbers are backed by the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations. The Cambridge, Ma.-based consulting group Abt Associates said in The Globe that it estimates the the RGGI has resulted in the saving of as many as 800 lives, reduced asthma attacks by bout 8,000 and saved as much as $6 billion in health care costs.
Read the full editorial from the Berkshire Eagle here.
Peter Shattuck, director of the clean energy initiative for Acadia Center, said this proposal is what climate leadership looks like.
“(Rhode Island) Governor Raimondo and other governors have really stepped up to fill the void of the Trump administration’s misguided and irresponsible decision to roll back all our major climate policies (and) to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement,” Shattuck said.
From 2008 to 2015, RGGI states have seen 3.6 percent more economic growth than non-RGGI states and electricity prices have gone down 3.4 percent regionally, according to a report by Acadia Center.
Read the full story from Rhode Island Public Radio here.
Daniel Sosland, president of Acadia Center, a nonprofit: “The Northeast region has successfully proven the benefits of pursuing a clean energy, low polluting economy: states have reduced climate pollution while enjoying greater economic growth, job creation and public health benefits. This significant progress on clean energy under both Republican and Democratic leadership at the state and federal level serves as a prime example of what is possible across the nation.”