By: Jan Ellen Spiegel |
In June 2011, Dan Esty, then head of the Department of Environmental Protection, sat in a New Haven café over a late breakfast and looked a few weeks into the future to when the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection he was creating would officially exist.
“Some of the environment folks are worried that the agenda gets taken over by the energy side. The energy folks are all sure their agenda is going to be taken over by environment people,” he said. “We’re going to pursue both elements with equal vigor.”
As Esty exits after three years at the helm of DEP then the new DEEP, some environmental advocates and lawmakers are unconvinced that pursuit was equal. Energy was the top priority, they think, and some would like to see that focus change.
Most believe, and some say they have first-hand knowledge, that lower energy costs were Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s orders. Esty gets little of the blame for what they see as environmental protection’s poor-cousin status.
In fact many are concerned about his departure, worrying that no successor will have the breadth of expertise Esty had across energy and environmental subjects, and some fear a backsliding, especially in regional energy initiatives.