Governor Dannel P. Malloy's handpicked choice to run the state Department of Environmental Protection, Daniel Esty, is at it again. You remember our environmentally conscience commissioner, who was apparently for higher gasoline prices, before he was against them?
The commissioner, who told Talk of Connecticut legendary talk show host Brad Davis, he never advocated for higher gasoline prices, even though he wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times and was quoted in a New Haven Register story as telling high students prices should be higher, "Let's make people pay for the harm they cause," in the same interview touted natural gas as the way to go. "The big opportunity we have, that has emerged in the last couple of years, is increased natural gas; huge new supplies of natural gas, which I think people are going after. It's one of the reasons we are going to see electric rates coming down in the state of Connecticut. We're going to buy more of this cheap natural gas, which is the major source of electricity, beyond nuclear power in this state.
"So you should expect to see electric rates coming down over the course of this year, in part because of access to these new American natural gas supplies."
So confident was the commissioner in his belief, he repeated the comment to Davis.
Now comes word in the latest edition of the Hartford Business Journal, electricity prices in Connecticut will skyrocket this summer. The reason? The price spike in natural gas. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission predicts a 22 percent increase in our electricity rates in New England, with Connecticut's likely to be higher. Worse, other costs that drive electricity price spikes have not gone up. FERC blames the exorbitant hike in our rates solely on the increase in natural gas prices, the same "cheap" natural gas Commissioner Esty predicts will lower our prices.
One can only hope Esty doesn't make a pick in next week's Belmont Stakes. What has become patently obvious is that Dannel 88 has bet on the wrong horse to lead our DEP.