Economic rebound will bring green-minded programs to Connecticut
State and local programs that are dually eco-friendly and economically beneficial will begin sprouting in Connecticut as the regional fiscal situation improves, State Sen. L. Scott Frantz (R-36) said.
"If we had a more stable fiscal situation, we would have a green tax credit for buildings up to $25 million in the state," he said last Wednesday at an environmental forum featuring state legislators from New Canaan, Greenwich and Stamford.
"The green building tax credits bill was one that everyone was in favor of, but it was simply vetoed because of the fiscal situation," Frantz continued. "When things get better in the state ... you'll see a lot of [programs like this] going into place."
Frantz represents District 36, which includes two-thirds of New Canaan, 60 percent of the landmass of Stamford and all of Greenwich.
During the symposium, sponsored by Audubon Greenwich, Frantz reviewed the year in environmental achievements: Attorney General Richard Blumenthal helped sway six major baby bottle companies to ban toxic chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) from their products, the state established a remediation fund to reward environmentally friendly dry cleaning businesses and a mandate passed for green cleaning supply use in schools.
"That didn't get enough attention, I thought," Frantz said of the eco-friendly chemical order. "This is a big step forward. We're talking about our children and we're talking about being much more friendly to the environment as well as much more friendly to the human being."
Green job generation is currently a major focus of Audubon Connecticut, according to Director of Government Affairs for Audubon Connecticut Sandy Breslin.
Between 10 and 100 direct and indirect jobs are created per every $1 million invested in clean water and 300 jobs and $1 million in revenue are reaped from sustainable forestry practices in a two-year period, according to an Audubon Connecticut data sheet distributed at the forum.
Frantz also expressed interest in tackling the sagging economy through green job creation.
"That's obviously got some great economic and fiscal benefits for the state, but it also has some benefits for the environment as well, if there is a future for green alternative energy ... which I actually do believe in my heart there is a great future for that," Frantz said.