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Four New England States to Address Climate Change

By Anthony Zepperi, Staff Writer

HARTFORD – Recognizing the critical role that New England’s regional wholesale electricity market plays in addressing climate change, Gov. Ned Lamont and the governors of four other northeast states issued a statement calling for reforms needed to achieve their states’ respective goals for clean, affordable, and reliable electricity.

“When Connecticut deregulated our electricity sector, we were promised competition, lower risk for ratepayers, more affordable electricity, and a system that respects and accommodates our clean energy mandates,” Lamont said. “What we got is a system that has actively hindered our efforts to decarbonize the grid, and imposed burdensome costs on Connecticut ratepayers to fix market design failures…working together with our neighboring states, I’m committed to achieving a regional electricity grid that provides the affordable, clean, and reliable electricity that Connecticut families and businesses deserve.”

Lamont, Maine Gov. Janet Mills, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott are calling for reform of the regional electricity market design, transmission planning process, and the governance of the ISO-New England, the independent system operator for the New England power system.

A vision document outlining specific areas for reform will be released later through the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), a nonprofit entity that represents the collective perspective of the New England states in regional electricity matters.

Governor Mills said that electricity usage must be changed to fit the current policies put in place by lawmakers.

“It is far past time that New England reforms how its electric grid is managed,” Mills said. “The wholesale electricity markets must advance and support clean energy laws and policies, as the states demand decarbonization and markets and consumers support more renewables.”

Governor Baker said that it is paramount that New England states have a working power system.

“To meet to our administration’s goal of net zero emissions in Massachusetts by 2050, the Commonwealth needs a regional electricity system that can support the delivery of clean, affordable, and reliable energy to residents and businesses,” Baker said. “My administration looks forward to working with our partner states, ISO-New England and stakeholders to build a more transparent, modern and cost-effective power system that will allow New England states to meet our ambitious climate change and clean energy goals while creating a better future for our residents.”

In the coming months, the states will convene open and accessible forums to ensure that all interested stakeholders have an opportunity to participate in further refinement of the principles of the shared vision.

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