Friday, March 19, 2010

Save the CT Clean Energy Fund

The legislature is planning to take money you pay for clean energy and apply it to the general fund. Please read the press release below and consider turning out for the public hearing on March 22.

Contact: Emily Smith,
Managing Director, External Relations
Connecticut Innovations
Phone: (860) 257-2337

On Monday March 22, 2010 the legislature’s Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee is holding a public hearing on S.B. 484 An Act Concerning the Governor’s Revenue Plan. This bill will “securitize” the revenue stream of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund for a 10-year period diverting funding intended to support development of renewable energy projects in Connecticut to the general fund. This proposed raid on the CCEF will have dire consequences on the continued growth and development of clean energy efforts across the State of Connecticut.

Information about the public hearing is below:

MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2010

The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 22, 2010 from 10: 00 A. M. to 3: 00 P. M. in Room 2E of the LOB. Please submit 75 copies of written testimony one hour prior to the start of the hearing to Committee staff in Room 3700 of the LOB. Testimony not submitted prior to the start of the hearing will not be distributed. Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 8: 30 A. M. in the Atrium next to the up escalator. All sign up will be done by a lottery system. Each person wishing to testify should be in line prior to sign up at 8: 30 A. M. At the time of sign up you will draw a number and your name will be placed on the list next to the corresponding number on the sign up sheet. The lottery will conclude at 9: 45 A. M. and all other speakers should report to Room 3700 of the LOB where your name will be placed at the end of the list. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Invited Speakers. The public portion will begin at approximately 11: 00 A. M. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes of testimony. Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.

If you are unable to attend the public hearing you should still contact members of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding committee to voice your opposition to this proposal. A list of committee members and their e-mail addresses may be found here.

Raiding this fund is backdoor way to tax electric ratepayers - the CCEF is funded through a small surcharge on every CL&P and UI electric ratepayer’s bill. Ratepayer funding goes to support CCEF programs and initiatives that benefit Connecticut. Using this funding for purposes other than clean energy turns it into a tax on certain ratepayers. Not fair!

Ratepayer funding is used for programs and initiatives that create “green jobs” - The programs and initiatives of the CCEF have resulted in significant growth of the “green” economy across Connecticut. Its solar programs have grown an in-state solar installation industry that now boasts over 50 solar installation companies. The fuel cell industry includes over 1200 highly-skilled employees with the potential for rapid growth as fuel cell projects continue to grow in number and size. Large scale clean energy projects under the Project 150 program will create hundreds of good construction jobs. Green jobs are the jobs of the future. The Federal government is increasing commitments to green jobs by funding new clean energy projects across the country. Connecticut must invest in the future, not steal from it.

Clean energy is good for Connecticut – CCEF has put Connecticut on the map as a national leader in promoting clean energy. Its mission and goals help improve the quality of life for all Connecticut residents by creating jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, reducing greenhouse gases, improving the environment and improving public health. CCEF programs support clean energy projects at businesses, non-profits, public facilities and residences. Ratepayer funding must continue to support clean energy initiatives so that Connecticut can maintain its position as a national leader in promoting clean energy.

Raiding the CCEF puts millions of federal stimulus package dollars at risk - CCEF has worked hard to create a renewable energy industry and support clean energy projects across Connecticut. It has created strong programs and has staff in place to quickly deploy any federal dollars targeted for clean, renewable energy projects. Raiding the Fund would put an end to CCEF’s successful programs making it impossible for the state to take advantage of these federal dollars.

Link to CCEF “Talking Points/Impact Statement”

Thank you for your continued support of the CCEF,

Norma Glover
CCEF Board
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