Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions
Campaigns:

CCE IN THE NEWS

Source: The Day

14 environmental, energy, consumer groups oppose Millstone bill

BY JUDY BENSON
DAY STAFF WRITER

Posted: July 10, 2017
Originally Published: July 4, 2017

Fourteen environmental, energy and consumer protection groups on Monday sent a letter to state legislative leaders urging that they not pass legislation in an upcoming special session designed to help the Millstone Power Station in Waterford.

The proposed bill, which supporters contend would help stabilize the nuclear power plant against volatile energy prices and preserve the state’s largest producer of carbon emissions free power, would instead “distract from growing the state’s solar and wind industries,” said Laura McMillan, spokeswoman for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound, one of the groups that signed the letter.

“Propping up an outdated, expensive technology like nuclear power, while shying away from ripe opportunities in clean energy and efficiency, is counter-productive,” the letter states. “… if Millstone is allowed to sell their power above the wholesale market price, Connecticut electric customers will likely end up footing the bill …”

In addition, the letter states, Millstone is asking for the measure “at a time when it is projected to be the most profitable nuclear plant in the United States,” citing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study. Groups signing the letter include Clean Water Action, the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Environment Connecticut, the Sierra Club and SolarConnecticut. It was sent to Sen. Martin Looney, D-New Haven; Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven; Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin; and Rep. Themis Klarides, R-Derby; as well as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Supporters of the bill contend consumers would not pay higher prices as a result. While it passed in the state Senate during the regular session but died in the House of Representatives, it could be revisited in an upcoming special session.

The letter less than a week after a spokesman for Millstone owner Dominion Resources said the company is moving forward with a "strategic assessment" of the Millstone Power Station and contacted ISO New England to understand options available to cease operations, if the company decides to do so.

It also comes two weeks after the group Environmental Progress sent a letter to Malloy and legislative leaders urging them to support the Millstone bill to preserve nuclear power as a carbon-free power source. If Connecticut loses Millstone, that letter states, power produced by fossil fuels would likely fill the void. Millstone produces 96 percent of the state’s zero-emission electricity, 46 times more than wind and solar combined. Signers of that letter included 30 leading scientists, conservationists and environmental activists, including James Hansen, Richard Rhodes, Robert Stone and Steven Pinker.

Read the original letter sent to legislative leaders.