Steve Guveyan and Erica Bowman Connecticut Nuclear Press Call
Press call statement
Connecticut Petroleum Council Executive Director Steve Guveyan
API Chief Economist Erica Bowman
Connecticut - Special Treatment for the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant
May 18, 2017
As prepared for delivery
Good Morning and thank you for joining today’s call. My name is Steve Guveyan and I am the executive director of the Connecticut Petroleum Council.
Connecticut is headed in the wrong direction. Consumers in the region have paid 50 percent more for electricity as compared to the rest of the country and right now there is an effort in the state that could raise prices even further.
As the Connecticut legislature weighs legislation that would give special treatment to nuclear power generation, we’d like to share some insight and concerns from Connecticut voters about what this means to them.
Consumers across the state have spoken loud and clear. 78 percent of voters across the state oppose legislation that would give the Millstone nuclear power plant “special treatment” with ratepayers footing the bill. What’s more, the majority of voters across the state believes that electricity prices will be lower with competition, NOT intervention by the government.
When 66 percent of Connecticut voters already think electricity costs are too high in the state, it makes no sense for any legislator in the state to support this misguided legislation.
Providing special treatment to nuclear power at the expense of the Connecticut consumer sets a dangerous precedent, distorts the energy market and provides no incremental environmental impact.
Instead of expanding government carve outs and special treatment that could add costs for consumers, the State of Connecticut should embrace the markets, which, thanks to abundant and affordable natural gas, have been delivering lower electricity prices.
Almost 70 percent of voters believe that Connecticut is on the wrong track, and providing special treatment to help one company be more profitable isn’t what consumers want or deserve.
The U.S. energy renaissance has allowed consumers across the nation to save $550 per year at the gasoline pump and saved American families $1,337 in energy costs.
Moving forward, we need to focus on policies that continue to protect and benefit consumers and reject special treatment for nuclear power companies.
With that, I will turn it over to Erica Bowman, API’s chief economist, who can offer more insight into Connecticut Senate Bill 106.
As Steve mentioned, my name is Erica Bowman and I am the chief economist here at the American Petroleum Institute.
API supports an all-of-the-above approach to energy that includes natural gas, nuclear, coal, wind and solar, provided that markets are allowed to be free of government mandates and subsidies, and do not unnecessarily burden consumers. We believe consumers benefit most when markets are allowed to flourish without mandates, riders and special treatment by lawmakers and regulators.
Unfortunately, Senate Bill 106 does the exact opposite for Connecticut consumers. Instead of providing special treatment to nuclear power companies, we should let the markets protect consumers as they are currently doing for consumers across Connecticut and the nation.
In 2016 natural gas provided 49 percent of the in-state electricity generation almost doubling its contribution since 2005. According to EIA data, this affordable, natural gas generation has also enabled over a 20 percent carbon emission reduction from Connecticut’s electric generation sources.
Senate Bill 106 proposes to allow nuclear generation in Connecticut to bid into Connecticut’s renewable energy procurement process. Instead of predefining the types of technology that provide emission reductions to Connecticut, we should enable the markets to provide the most cost-effective emission reductions.
Moving forward, let’s allow the markets to continue to work and not further burden Connecticut ratepayers with increased costs that add no additional environmental benefit.
With that, we will take a few questions.