Connecticut Republican Party chief Chris Healy is calling for DEP Commissioner Daniel Esty to resign. Appearing on my radio program this afternoon, Healy reacted to Esty's comments we are not paying enough for gasoline. (In Avon, Canton and Simsbury motorists are paying $4.35 per gallon, regular). Speaking to a group of high school students in New Haven, on Monday, Esty called for higher prices as an incentive to make motorists drive less. "Let's make people pay for the harm they cause," Esty told the students.
Esty recently wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times, supporting the creation of a carbon emissions charge. That column, and his comments on Monday have been mostly ignored by the main stream media in Connecticut. But on today's program, I called for Esty's resignation and later, when confronted with Esty's comments, Healy said, "He (Esty), should be repudiated by the governor. He should be replaced by the governor."
"I'm calling for Esty's resignation. Does that mean you are too?" I asked Healy. "Well, yea," he answered.
Esty is also advocating a "pay as you throw" policy for people who choose to toss cans, bottles and food containers, instead of recycling them. "This commissioner, or rather commissar of DEP, is charged with doing a few things. One is to administer laws, as they're laid down, and two is to issue permits. He's not there to promulgate policy that would destroy the economy of this state.
In the story covered by the New Haven Register, Esty told students his job as DEP Commissioner is to make sure "people obey rules and regulations set by the DEP." Should we salute, when he walks into a room, too?
Esty was Dannel 88's handpicked choice to serve as DEP head, after he worked on Barack Obama's presidential campaign and later on his transition team. He sailed through the confirmation process by the legislature and has adopted a high profile in his short time on the job, traveling to schools and speaking before numerous civic groups. In just about every instance, he calls for higher gasoline prices, attacks the fossil fuel industry and is not shy about accepting the global warming theory.
"The guy is completely out of his league. I don't know why the governor picked him. He seems to flaunt the fact that he is a radical environmentalist, anti-business. Now we have a commissioner who is wandering around the state, telling people that $8 or $9 a gallon gas is good for the Connecticut economy."
Good for the moving van industry in Connecticut, perhaps, because that will be the only business thriving, if Esty's radical ideas are combined with Malloy's highest tax hike in state history.