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Environmental summit details Lamont administration clean energy agenda

HARTFORD — At a day-long conference by the League of Conservation Voters, the Lamont administration laid out their plan for Connecticut.

The plan was all about protecting the water air and land. Hartford’s Trinity College played host to the 19th annual environmental summit. Gov. Ned Lamont addressed the enthusiastic crowd using his familiar Hamilton line. “When it comes to global warming — were not going to waste our shot!” he told the audience.

Gov. Lamont talked about leveraging the state’s water resources, protecting open space, and moving Connecticut to a zero carbon future. “Everything we do starting with transportation and housing and urban regeneration has a big environmental component,” said the Governor.

He wants to phase out single use plastic bags, Styrofoam — and balance the state’s energy portfolio to include natural gas, solar, and wind. He said he wants to work with surrounding states. “We’re in this together. We’re a region. We’ve got to get out of this mindset of its us against them,” remarked Gov. Lamont.

The Governor want to develop carbon-friendly transportation infrastructure around urban centers. “If I can make sure that they can get to work and get out of their darn cars, all the better,” he explained.

The woman steering his agenda is incoming DEEP commissioner Katie Dykes. “Connecticut has some of the best drinking water supplies in the country. We’ve made investments in remediation brown-fields,” she said. Connecticut has cleaned up 421 brown-fields to be exact.

The summit was also attended by smattering of Republican lawmakers who say there is room for compromise around certain issues. State Rep. Devin Carney is the Co-Chair is the Clean Energy Caucus. “I think certainly issue regarding open space. Issues regarding clean energy. Issue regarding electric vehicles,” said Carney.

Enter Tesla — they’ve been trying to open retail locations in the state for the last 4 years. Each time, they’ve been blocked by lawmakers. “Why would it make sense for Connecticut consumers to go across state lines to New York or Massachusetts or someplace else and buy a car when they could buy it here in Connecticut and keep those dollars and keep those jobs here,” explained Tesla Director Rohan Patel.

People at the summit talked about the importance of state’s leading the way during a time when the federal government is looking to roll back many EPA regulations.

 

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