Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

May 13, 2024 Opinion & Commentary

Opinion: Countering the influence of fossil fuel interests in clean energy transition

Joe Curtatone

In his recent op-ed, Mike Giaimo, the regional director for the Northeast at the American Petroleum Institute, discusses the challenges faced by Connecticut’s energy sector and argues in favor of including natural gas and oil in the state’s energy mix.

While Giaimo makes valid points about the complexity of energy infrastructure and supply, his argument overlooks important considerations regarding environmental sustainability, public health and the imperative to transition to renewable energy sources.

Like other states in the region, Connecticut faces energy-related issues due to limited local resources and aging infrastructure. Giaimo emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive energy strategy, but his focus on preserving the status quo fails to address the urgent need for a transition toward cleaner, renewable alternatives.

This perspective ignores the environmental consequences of continued reliance on fossil fuels. The extraction, transportation and combustion of oil and natural gas contribute significantly to air and water pollution, exacerbating climate change and posing serious health risks to communities.

In discussing Connecticut’s clean energy future, Giaimo underscores the challenges of permitting delays and infrastructure limitations. However, he overlooks a crucial aspect: the influence of fossil fuel interests in obstructing the transition to clean energy.

Recent revelations show how certain fossil fuel companies use deceptive tactics to undermine clean energy initiatives. In Connecticut and across New England, well-funded campaigns backed by fossil fuel giants have sought to impede the progress of clean energy projects.

These efforts often involve spreading misinformation, sowing doubt and mobilizing opposition to delay or halt renewable energy developments.

For instance, NextEra, a major energy corporation with significant investments in fossil fuels, was revealed to have orchestrated a covert campaign to sabotage the Clean Energy Corridor project in Maine. By creating front groups and funneling dark money into anti-clean energy propaganda, NextEra aimed to protect its vested interests in traditional energy sources.

Similar tactics have been observed in other clean energy projects, including wind, solar and hydroelectric initiatives.

Therefore, Connecticut must remain vigilant against the undue influence of fossil fuel entities in shaping energy policy and project approvals.

Transparency and accountability mechanisms must be strengthened to ensure that decisions regarding energy infrastructure are guided by the public interest rather than corporate profit motives.

Moreover, efforts to combat disinformation campaigns and promote factual discourse about clean energy alternatives are essential in fostering informed public debate and empowering communities to advocate for sustainable solutions.

Joe Curtatone is the president of the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC), a regional nonprofit representing clean energy companies and entrepreneurs throughout the Northeast.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF