Christine Stuart photo

Congressman Chris Murphy is making a New Years resolution to reduce his carbon footprint by purchasing renewable energy credits. At a press conference Thursday in his New Britain office, Murphy said starting on Jan. 1, all five of his offices will be carbon neutral.

Murphy said he won’t be giving the 36 roundtrip flights from Washington DC to Connecticut, he will just be purchasing 35 metric tons of Co2 off-sets to account for the fuel used in his travel and 44,000 kilowatts hours of clean wind energy credits to account for the electricity used in his four offices in Connecticut and one in Washington DC.

Murphy said the cost of purchasing the credits is $630 a year and he plans to pay for it out of his Congressional salary. “For an office of 15 people with five different locations, it’s a pretty reasonable investment to become a green office” he said.

How did he go about calculating his carbon footprint?

Murphy hired Robert Maddox of Sterling Plant who used the EPA’s Climate Leaders Protocol to estimate the carbon footprint of Murphy and his 15 employees. Maddox said Murphy and his staff worked at lowering their carbon footprint before buying the credits, but at the end of the day “it’s impossible to live carbon neutral,” without purchasing the credits.

Murphy said the credits reduce the need for dirty energy on the grid.

Maddox said the 44,000 kilowatt hours of wind energy will come from the wind farm in upstate New York. And the 35 metric tons of Co2 off-sets will come from the purchase of Connecticut biodiesel.

“This is something anyone in Connecticut can do,” Maddox said. He said an estimated 15,000 consumers in the state already purchase clean energy credits from Connecticut Light and Powers clean options program. He said it costs the average household about $7 per month to be part of the solution.

Murphy is the third Congressman to go carbon neutral.