Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 419

    February Session, 2016

Substitute House Bill No. 5579

House of Representatives, April 4, 2016

The Committee on Environment reported through REP. ALBIS of the 99th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL ON CLIMATE CHANGE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 22a-200a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) The state shall reduce the level of emissions of greenhouse gas:

(1) Not later than January 1, 2020, to a level at least ten per cent below the level emitted in 1990; and

(2) Not later than January 1, 2050, to a level at least eighty per cent below the level emitted in 2001.

(3) All of the levels referenced in this subsection shall be determined by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection after consultation with the Governor's Council on Climate Change.

(b) On or before January 1, [2010] 2018, and [biannually] biennially thereafter, the state agencies that are members of the Governor's [Steering Committee] Council on Climate Change shall submit a report to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection. The report shall identify existing and proposed activities and improvements to the facilities of such agencies that are designed to meet state agency energy savings goals established by the Governor. The report shall also identify policies and regulations that could be adopted in the near future by such agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Not later than January 1, [2012] 2018, and every three years thereafter, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall, in consultation with the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the Governor's [Steering Committee] Council on Climate Change, report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment, energy and transportation on the quantifiable emissions reductions achieved pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. The report shall include a schedule of proposed regulations, policies and strategies designed to achieve the limits of greenhouse gas emissions imposed by said subsection, an assessment of the latest scientific information and relevant data regarding global climate change, actions taken by the state in furtherance of the Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding, an estimate of greenhouse gas emissions by state agencies and an explanation of any increase or decrease since the previous report, and the status of greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts in other states and countries.

(d) At least one year prior to the effective date of any federally mandated greenhouse cap and trade program including greenhouse gas emissions subject to any state cap and trade requirements adopted pursuant to this section, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment, energy and technology and transportation. Such report shall explain the differences between such federal and state requirements and shall identify any further regulatory or legislative actions needed to achieve consistency with such federal program.

Sec. 2. Section 22a-200e of the general statutes is repealed. (Effective October 1, 2016)

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2016

22a-200a

Sec. 2

October 1, 2016

Repealer section

ENV

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

This bill requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to consult with the Governor's Council on Climate Change when determining the state's level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The bill also changes certain reporting requirements. These requirements do not have a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5579

AN ACT CONCERNING THE GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL ON CLIMATE CHANGE.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) commissioner to consult with the Governor's Council on Climate Change (“Council”) (see BACKGROUND) when determining the state's level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Current law requires him alone to determine these levels. By law, the state must reduce its GHG emission levels to at least (1) 10% below 1990 levels by January 1, 2020 and (2) 80% below 2001 levels by January 1, 2050.

The bill also changes certain related reporting requirements. Under current law, state agencies that are members of the Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change (“Steering Committee”) must report certain information to the Office of Policy Management (OPM) secretary and DEEP commissioner twice a year. The bill instead requires state agencies that are members of the Council to report the same information to the secretary and commissioner every two years, beginning January 1, 2018. (The governor disbanded the Steering Committee when he established the Council.)

By law, the DEEP commissioner must report every three years to the Environment, Energy and Technology, and Transportation committees on the quantifiable GHG emissions reductions the state achieved. He must do this in consultation with the OPM secretary and, under the bill, the Council instead of the Steering Committee. (The next report is due by January 1, 2018.) The bill expands the report content (see below).

Lastly, the bill repeals an obsolete statute requiring the Steering Committee to establish a subcommittee on climate change impacts.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

State Agency Reports

Under the bill, the agencies represented on the Council must report to OPM and DEEP by January 1, 2018 and biennially thereafter. By law, the report must identify:

DEEP Commissioner Reports

The bill requires the DEEP commissioner's reports to the specified legislative committees to include (1) an estimate of state agencies' GHG emissions and explanation of any change in them since the last report and (2) a description of state actions taken in furtherance of the Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). (Parties to this 2015 MOU support international activities to respond to climate change.)

By law, the reports must already include:

BACKGROUND

Governor's Council on Climate Change

The governor established the Council in Executive Order No. 46, issued April 22, 2015. The Council must examine the efficacy of existing policies and regulations designed to reduce GHG emissions and identify new strategies to meet the state's GHG emissions reduction goals.

The Council must establish interim goals to ensure the state meets its 2050 target; monitor the state's GHG emission levels; and recommend legislation, regulations, or policies to help the state meet the goals. It must report to the governor and OPM by January 1, 2016 and twice a year thereafter.

The 15-member Council is comprised of the administrative services, DEEP, economic and community development, housing, insurance, and transportation commissioners, or their designees; the OPM secretary or his designee; a Public Utilities Regulatory Authority commissioner; the Connecticut Green Bank's chief executive officer; the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation's executive director; and five gubernatorial appointees representing business and industry, non-government organizations, or local government.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

27

Nay

2

(03/16/2016)

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