STATE OF CONNECTICUT
BY HIS EXCELLENCY

JOHN G. ROWLAND
GOVERNOR

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 26

WHEREAS, over the past several years, electric and gas utilities have undergone significant changes as restructuring of these industries has been implemented under both state and federal law. This process has produced many results, including significant consumer benefits. However, it has also clearly demonstrated the limitations and shortcomings of the present electric and gas transmission systems. The advent of combined cycle gas generation, with its significant advantages in efficiency and low environmental impact, has produced the largest increase in electric generation construction in modern history. It has also permanently linked the futures of the two industries.

WHEREAS, the federal government is moving toward the formation of new regional transmission organizations, which has brought new importance to the development and maintenance of sufficient interconnection between electric control areas. This will be necessary to assure the provision of safe and reliable electric service in each control area. These dynamic forces have produced many proposals for transmission expansions, both within Connecticut and between Connecticut and New York.

WHEREAS, southwestern Connecticut represents 7% of New England’s population and 14% of New England’s electric demand and is also recognized by federal and regional authorities as the most transmission-constrained area in New England. This transmission constraint creates costs that have been spread across electric customers in all six New England states. However, the advent of new electric market rules by the first quarter of 2003 will require those costs to be borne by Connecticut customers alone, thus increasing charges to consumers.

WHEREAS, these conditions demand that we make wise choices that balance the necessities of sufficient utility resources to provide safe, reliable service to our people while preserving our environment. This means that we must examine all proposals regarding increased infrastructure concurrently, to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal in relation to the others. In addition, we must be sure that we have considered all options, including demand-side management, conservation and distributed generation, as well as transmission and generation expansion, before making a decision. We must pursue cost-effective strategies that resolve our problems without overbuilding or underbuilding, mindful of the continuing expansion of both gas and electric demand over the near term. Finally, we must examine the potential of proposed expansions to mitigate or eliminate the adverse environmental impacts of existing energy facilities in Connecticut.

NOW THEREFORE, I, John G. Rowland, Governor of the State of Connecticut, acting by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State and in the spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship demanded by the importance of the matter, do hereby, ORDER AND DIRECT:

 

1. That there shall be a task force to undertake a review and analysis of all pending proposals for permanent large-scale gas or electric transmission projects, including all proposals for projects crossing Long Island Sound and electric transmission proposal in southwestern Connecticut. For the purposes of this order the term Long Island Sound shall not include its harbors, embayments, tidal rivers, streams and creeks.
2. The review and analysis shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
  1. An evaluation of methods to minimize the numbers and impacts of energy crossings within Long Island Sound
  2. Recommendations for providing for regional energy needs while protecting Long Island Sound;
  3. An assessment of the present status, future potential, and environmental impacts of proposed methods for laying of a power line, pipeline or cable;
  4. An identification of possible measures that may be taken to mitigate environmental impacts and maintain the aesthetic integrity of regions in Connecticut where it has been determined transmission must be sited.
3.

The task force shall consist of:
a. Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy
b. Secretary of Office of Policy and Management
c. Chairman, Public Utilities Control Authority
d. Chairman, Connecticut Siting Council
e. Commissioner of Environmental Protection
f. Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture
g. Representative of the Independent System Operator of New England
h. Representative from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

4. The Task Force shall be chaired by the Chairman of the Public Utilities Control Authority and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and shall operate within the Institute for Sustainable Energy for administrative purposes. The Task Force shall report its recommendations to the Governor not later than January 1, 2003.
5. The Chairperson of this task force will notify the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of the adoption of this Executive Order and shall request that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission not approve any future or pending projects in Connecticut or between Connecticut and any adjoining states until the task force has submitted its report in January of 2003.
6. To provide the necessary time for a fair and thorough evaluation, agencies of the executive branch shall review projects properly before them, however, they are directed not to make final determinations under their authorities with respect to construction of large-scale gas or electric transmission expansion projects insofar as permitted by law until January 15, 2003.
7. Any electric or gas pipeline proposal for which a final determination has been held in abeyance pursuant to this Executive Order shall receive an expedited determination by such agency after submission of the report.
8. Because of the additional environmental damage which will result from the failure to replace the existing leaking cross-sound electric transmission cable, the provisions of this Executive Order shall not apply to that project.
9. That this order shall take effect immediately.

Dated in Hartford, Connecticut, this 12th day of April 2002.

By His Excellency's Command
 

 

_____________________________
SUSAN BYSIEWICZ, Secretary of the State