Appeal to Energy & Technology Committee Members:
Restore Your Committee’s Integrity
Vote NO on Senate Bill 106
The General Assembly’s Energy & Technology Committee is poised to vote on Senate Bill 106 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 , at 2 PM .
You must vote NO to restore your Committee’s integrity.
Senate Bill 106 is the product of a dirty backroom deal between the Committee leadership – chiefly Sen. Paul M. Formica – and Dominion, which owns and operates Millstone, New England ’s dirtiest and most dangerous nuclear power plant.
Formica’s Senate district includes Waterford , site of Millstone, which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security identifies as Connecticut ’s first most dangerous terrorist target. It is a pre-deployed weapon of mass destruction, sheltering on its 500-acre site on Long Island Sound thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste. It is within roughly 50 miles of Hartford, New Haven, Providence RI and most of eastern Long Island where millions of innocent families live.
Formica’s sweetheart deal with Millstone is so dirty he had to develop it in secret with Dominion outside the democratic process.
He called a public hearing on Bill 106 on February 2, 2017 when the bill consisted of one meaningless sentence:
“That title16a of the general statutes be amended to provide a mechanism for zero-carbon electric generating facilities to sell power to electric utilities.”
Even so, statewide opposition to the bill was nearly unanimous. Of the 29 organizations and businesses that submitted statements, Connecticut’s entire pro-environmental community, including the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, voiced fierce opposition to the bill.
A unique coalition from the energy industry, including the state’s biggest suppliers of electricity, voiced fierce opposition to the bill.
Virtually all who voiced support for the bill have some financial or business connection, stated or unstated, to Dominion.
What would the bill that was the subject of the public hearing do?
Hard to say, as the one-sentence bill lacked any substance.
But Formica talked up the one-sentence bill to the news media as a necessary means to assure that Millstone would continue to provide “baseload” (round-the-clock) power to Connecticut.
But Dominion, at the public hearing, insisted it had no plans to shutter Millstone nor remove baseload power from the grid. Nor would it voluntarily open its books to demonstrate to the legislators any kind of economic hardship justifying legislative intervention on its behalf.
Yet, Dominion’s representatives spoke in detail about a bill that consisted of one sentence – the “stealth” bill.
All the while, Formica kept the real bill, doubtless drafted in Dominion’s company, in his back pocket.
Two weeks later, on the eve of the March 14 blizzard, Formica released the contents of the now 12-page single-spaced amended Senate Bill 106 to the news media and announced an Energy and Technology vote on the amended bill – without convening a public hearing on it – a week later, on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 2 PM.
In essence, the amended bill would allow Dominion, the producer of the dirtiest, most dangerous electricity known to mankind, to compete with the fledgling clean-energy producers (chiefly wind and solar) to sell electricity at above-market rates. (Meanwhile, by all accounts, Dominion is making robust profits.) It would allow this without first studying the effects such a dubious giveaway would have on the start-up clean, sustainable energy producers, let alone the inevitable ratepayer squeeze.
Here’s the headline that could have run in the tabloids:
“Formica/Dominion to Connecticut:
Screw clean, sustainable energy!
Screw the ratepayers!
Screw the democratic process!”
In essence, the amended bill provides the classic case of a legislative sweetheart deal inimical to the public interest promoted by a legislator with close ties to the bill’s sole beneficiary, a deep-pocketed corporation.
No wonder Formica kept the details in his back pocket during the public hearing confined to a one-sentence bill.
By the way, CTN, Connecticut’s quasi-public TV network which customarily provides archival video coverage of legislative hearings of important public significance, was told by someone on the Committee that the turnout for the February 2 public hearing was expected to be “minimal,” even though the Committee leadership had hailed the bill for months in the news media as the most important bill of the 2017 legislative season. That’s what a CTN representative told us when we inquired why CTN had no plans to cover the event and could not be persuaded to cover the event. As it happened, the turn-out in opposition to the bill was of standing-room-only capacity.
You, the voting members of the Energy & Technology Committee, must block this brazen anti-democratic act of subterfuge and betrayal of the public trust.
Your failure to do so will frustrate and flummox development of a successful clean-energy economy in Connecticut in favor of a failed, dangerous technology that would not persist but for billions in taxpayer subsidies already paid out.
You must restore the integrity of the Energy and Technology Committee or allow it to be exposed to outside investigation in the public interest.
VOTE NO to Bill 106 on March 21.
Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone
147 Cross Highway
Redding CT 06896