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Esty Again. Does He or Doesn’t He?

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and energy and environment commissioner Daniel Esty don’t agree on the fundamentals of Esty’s authority of his powerful position.  The Courant reported yesterday that Esty received a $7,500 speaking fee from Connecticut utility United Illuminating in 2009. Esty’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regulates UI.

Malloy today waved away questions about the conflict between Esty’s relationship with UI and his new role as a regulator. The Courant reports that Malloy said “that Esty ‘doesn’t really’ have direct oversight” over UI. Esty, appearing at the same event in Hartford, appears to take a different view.  The Cheshire Democrat says he will be judged “by what I do with electric rates.”  That suggests that the bumptious Esty thinks he is invested with direct power over the companies who comprise the utility industry in Connecticut, including UI.

Esty’s clumsiness in the public arena will continue to draw attention.