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State Representative Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) will begin her third term at the State Capitol with a new role as the House chair of the powerful Energy and Technology Committee. Her appointment was announced by Speaker-designate Brendan Sharkey. Rep. Reed has served as vice chair of the committee for the last two legislative sessions. The new session begins on Jan. 9.
"Chairing Energy is a huge responsibility and I am honored that Speaker Sharkey has demonstrated such confidence in me," said Rep. Reed. She added, "We have an obligation to craft a more affordable, durable and sustainable energy future for Connecticut and I am eager to work with leadership, the Governor, DEEP, utility stakeholders and legislative colleagues to help achieve that goal."
During the upcoming session, the legislature is expected to address energy issues that include Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES). The CES was drafted by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in an effort to achieve objectives such as:
• Providing a lower-cost natural gas option to more than 250,000 residents and 75% of businesses in the next seven years
• Expanding efficiency programs to help residents and businesses reduce energy use
• Generating at least 10,000 jobs
"Energy policy as part of an overall economic development strategy will be a key matter in the upcoming year and I look forward to working with Rep. Reed on the issues before the Energy and Technology Committee," said incoming Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden). "We must act now to lower rates, promote energy efficiency, shift towards a sustainable, renewable energy model, and secure the best possible energy future for our children and grandchildren."
"I am so excited for Lonnie. This is a major assignment for someone only in her third term. She has demonstrated a deep knowledge of energy issues and her considerable abilities have earned her the respect of our new Speaker and our colleagues," said State Representative Pat Widlitz, recently re-named the House chair of the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee. "The Governor has made energy policy a top priority for the upcoming session and Rep. Reed will be a key player in those efforts."