Connecticut’s state government received mixed grades in the new edition of the Connecticut Green Guide, published by Hartford Business Journal. The publication reviewed state policy in our areas – microgrids, gasoline taxes, wind turbines and greenhouse gas reduction efforts – and graded the state’s efforts.
Connecticut received an “A” for recently announcing an $18 million grant program with nine microgrid projects in eight Connecticut communities, “adding protection from power outages and moving away from a centralized electricity system.” Just a week ago, Gov. Malloy was joined by the White House Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality to highlight one of the state’s microgrid sites, in the Parkville neighborhood of Hartford.
The state received an “F” because of a moratorium on wind turbines, which has been in place since 2001, according to the Green Guide. “Because of poorly written legislation and prolonged bureaucracy,” the publication explained, several projects have been delayed. Another poor grade, a D+, was assigned because state taxes on gasoline rose 4 cents on July 1, “giving Connecticut the third highest taxes on motor vehicle fuel in the country.” The publication noted that while “higher prices might encourage conservation, very little of the tax revenue goes toward fixing the aging transportation system, leading to vehicle inefficiencies and congestion.”
Connecticut fared better. earning a B+, in the analysis of the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, along with the other eight states in the region, which will “further lower the cap on power plant pollution,” which should, according to the publication’s review, “make the air cleaner, and the proceeds will aid the clean energy industry.”
The publication also noted that Connecticut became the first state in the country to mandate mattress recycling, with a new law approved by the legislature this year, also adding a new paint recycling requirement to existing laws that call for recycling of electronic waste and mercury thermostats. The state’s move toward a greater emphasis on “product stewardship,” is characterized by an increasing obligation imposed on consumers to recycle designated products, which helps the environment and provides business opportunities in the recycling of those products.
In a report on the green initiatives across all 50 states, published by Forbes magazine in July, Connecticut excelled in the areas of mass transit, ranking 5th among the states, in CO2 controls, ranking 11th, and recycling, ranking 18th. The state was 44th in use of renewables and 47th in water quality. That's according to this recent green ranking of states from MPHOline.org, a website that provides information on a variety of public health topics.
Data from the green product rating site GoodGuide was used to assess air and water quality, information from Wikipedia was the basis of the comparison on the number of mass transit systems in each state, and state agencies were used to provide information on the other categories.