In a statement issued Monday, Attorney General George Jepsen said his office is “aware of no facts or legal theory under which the state of Connecticut should be liable for causing the harms inflicted at Sandy Hook Elementary School.” Continue reading
Connecticut’s Attorney General and the head of its Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are praising a federal appeals court decision upholding government standards to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled Tuesday that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could enforce federal laws aimed at reducing six gases that increase global warming. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases are a pollutant that can be regulated.
Connecticut, along with 17 other states and several organizations assisted the EPA in fending off a lawsuit filed by energy companies and other states, such as Texas and Virginia, that aimed to strike down the regulations.
After the ruling by the Court’s three-judge panel Tuesday, state Attorney General George Jepsen and DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty both praised the ruling.
“This decision is important in our state’s continuing effort to protect public health and safety by reducing pollutants in our air,” said Jepsen, a Democrat. “It will also enable the EPA to take the steps it deems necessary to address climate change.”
“The federal regulations upheld by the court today represent a step forward by EPA to address what is, perhaps, the most significant economic, energy and environmental issue of the 21st century,” Esty said in the statement.
In its ruling, the Court upheld the EPA’s findings that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health. It also upheld the rules the agency set to reduce emissions of those gases from motor vehicles and large stationary sources such as manufacturing facilities and power plants.
Connecticut’s largest electric utility should be barred from recovering a large part of the costs associated with two major storms in 2011 because it was “imprudent” in its preparation for the bad weather and in its response to the power outages that followed, Attorney General George Jepsen said Monday.
Jepsen said the utility, Connecticut Light and Power should be penalized 30 percent to 50 percent of the recovery costs. That would amount to $78 million to $130 million, based on a figure of $260 million provided by CL&P earlier this year.
Such a penalty would be far harsher than the amount CL&P appears willing to give up. CL&P said in May that it would not seek repayment of about $40 million in restoration costs — about 15.4 percent of the estimated total costs from responding to Tropical Storm Irene and an October snowstorm.
Jepsen, a Democrat, suggested the higher penalty in a brief (PDF) filed Monday with the Public Utility Regulatory Authority. He said regulators need to send a message that they intend to hold the utility accountable for its performance during the storms
“Ratepayers should in no way be expected to pay for CL&P’s imprudent behavior,” Jepsen said. “CL&P has a history of promising improvement but then slipping back into laxity when the immediate uproar has passed. PURA should keep the pressure on CL&P to make a sustained effort to improve its management.”
In its own brief filed Monday (DOC), CL&P said it was “proud of its efforts” in responding to both 2011 storms, although it recognized that “there is always room to improve.”
In this week’s Government Watch column: The U.S. Attorney’s office in Connecticut has subpoenaed records from Hartford’s regional anti-poverty agency, the Community Renewal Team, The Courant has learned. Read the full column by clicking here.
The subpoena from the office of Connecticut’s top federal prosecutor was served days after the Feb. 12 publication of a Courant investigative column about CRT. The column reported that Paul Puzzo, CEO of the Community Renewal Team until 2005, has been receiving at least $85,000 a year as the agency’s vice president — but he rarely appears at the office, doesn’t have a desk there, and now spends significant time at a waterfront condominium unit he and his wife own in Florida. The Feb. 12 column can be read by clicking here.