Last week, Daniel Esty, Commissioner Connecticut of Energy and Environmental Protection announced his resignation to return to Yale University School of forestry, from which he had taken a 3 year leave of absence to join the Malloy administration. Governor Malloy quickly named Robert Klee, Esty’s Chief of Staff, as the new Commissioner.  From the Governor’s press release:

“Through its conservation work and efforts to make cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy available for the people and businesses of this state, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection plays a major role in fostering a sustainable and prosperous economic future for our state,” Governor Malloy said. “Having served as Chief of Staff for the agency over the last three years, Rob certainly has a strong familiarity with the innovative programs recently put in place to address our long-standing environmental and energy challenges. I’m confident that with Rob serving as Commissioner, we can continue these important efforts to protect our natural resources and quality of life while strengthening our economy and creating jobs.”

As discussed in a story in the New Haven Register, both environmentalists and industry seemed pleased, with Connecticut Fund for the Environment and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association speaking favorably.

My hope is that the DEEP also continues to think innovatively to reduce regulatory burdens on manufacturers and others in the state whose dealings with the DEEP are not in the context energy or conservation, but are in the areas of permitting, enforcement and remediation.  We’ve done a lot of thinking about energy – it’s time to use that same creativity to tackle programs and regulations that offer little environmental protection, but make it harder for businesses to do what they do.