It was one of at least two bills that flip-flopped between the two chambers over the past few days. The House changed a version of the bill the Senate had already passed forcing it to go back to the upper chamber for a vote.
Sen. Bob Duff, co-chairman of the Energy and Technology Committee, said he hopes the House amendment gives everybody the sense they’ve added to the debate.
The House amendment to the renewable energy bill added a fourth step to the procurement process. It guarantees that the Attorney General, Consumer Counsel, and Procurement Manager have exhausted all the Class I renewable options before the state purchases any large-scale hydropower.
The Senate passed the measure 26-6. Three members abstained from the vote due to conflicts with their employers. Both Sens. John Kissel and Kevin Witkos work for Northeast Utilities and Sen. Art Linares works for Green Skies. All three of their employers could benefit from the legislation.
And while environmentalists love renewable energy and local hydropower, they’re not crazy about large-scale Canadian hydropower.
“The legislature blew it,” the League of Conservation Voters said last week. “The state legislature’s vote today to retreat from our state’s clean energy goals practically guarantees that we get locked into large, environmentally damaging HydroQuebec power to flood our energy market and damage the growing industry that creates jobs related to clean, renewable power in Connecticut”
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy praised the bill’s passage and indicated he would sign it.
“The move toward more renewable energy is a critical part of our overall effort to provide cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy to residents and businesses,” Malloy said. “By moving from dirtier, out-of-state bio-mass to cleaner hydropower, we will both improve air quality throughout New England and lower cost for consumers.”