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Malloy Calls For Connecticut To 'Lead Once Again' On Climate Change

Ryan Caron King
Malloy in 2016.

It’s an elevator pitch Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has made a lot. Climate change is real. It’s man-made. And it’s here. But, he thinks the state could do better.

“It’s time for Connecticut to lead once again -- and to take decisive action on climate change,” said Malloy, while talking-up two environmental bills his office is pushing.

The first bill would tighten air pollution standards and update coastal maps, accounting for what Malloy and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Change said is a predicted sea level rise of 20 inches by 2050.

The other bill would work to restore money to the Connecticut Green Bank, boost renewable energy projects like wind and solar, and mitigate cuts to energy efficiency programs.

Malloy’s legislative push comes at a time when environmentalists have noted Connecticut is lagging when compared to neighboring states like Massachusetts.

Connecticut has been slow to embrace offshore wind. There are issues with shared and rooftop solar energy. And last-minute budget acrobatics by the General Assembly recently gutted the Connecticut Green Bank and energy efficiency programs.

Those cuts resulted in efficiency contractor layoffs, denied services to many lower-income customers, and mean utility customers are now paying what essentially boils down to a hidden tax on their utility bills.

So once again, Malloy made the pitch.

“We must act now if we want to ensure the resiliency and success of projects undertaken in the state,” Malloy said. “And to protect the safety of families and businesses on or near the shoreline.”

Both bills face a deadline of the next few days to make it out of committee.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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