The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection has provided notice to the Attorney General of an abnormal market disruption regarding the wholesale price of motor gasoline or gasohol. Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-234, no seller of motor gasoline or gasohol shall sell, or offer to sell, an energy resource at an unconscionably excessive price between June 25, 2022 and July 25, 2022.

Press Releases

Attorney General William Tong

12/21/2020

AG Tong Joins Multistate Comments Against Trump Administration's Rush to Sell Oil and Gas Leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong joined a coalition of 13 states in filing comments with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) opposing the Trump Administration’s reckless plan to sell oil and gas leases in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before President Trump leaves office, rushing the process with unprecedented haste before the scheduled public comment period has closed.

“The Trump Administration’s unlawful rush to sell oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will cause irreparable damage to one of our national treasures,” Attorney General Tong said. “This refuge has been protected from oil and gas exploration for over 40 years for good reason, and this sham review process has offered little to no meaningful opportunity to examine the permanent harm this plan could unleash. The January 6 lease sale must not proceed.”

According to the comments, on November 17, 2020, BLM issued a 30-day call for nominations and comment seeking public input on what tracts of land should be offered for sale and lease conditions. But on December 7, 2020, BLM issued a notice that it would hold a sale on January 6, 2021, specifying areas to be offered, lease terms, conditions, and special stipulations, cutting short the December 17, 2020 deadline to accept all nominations and comments. The attorneys general argue that noticing a lease sale well before the close of the 30-day comment deadline has denied members of the public and industry from having their voices heard, calling the process a “sham.”

The Arctic Refuge, often referred to as “America’s Serengeti,” is home to a diverse array of wildlife that relies on its fragile ecosystem. The Refuge’s 1.56-million-acre Coastal Plain is a national treasure, unparalleled in its biological significance for hundreds of species, including caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves and migratory birds. This fragile Arctic and Coastal Plain ecosystem is particularly vulnerable to environmental stressors, including climate change, which has caused thinning sea ice and thawing of permafrost in the region.

Congress successfully protected the region from oil and gas exploration, drilling and production for more than 40 years, until a provision in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act opened the door for oil and gas lease sales. The Administration’s plans have for the first time exposed the entire, unspoiled Coastal Plain to leasing, exploration, and development, which is not needed to meet the country’s demand for oil and natural gas or for U.S. energy independence. In September, Attorney General Tong joined lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s illegal plan to open up the entire Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas lease sales and drilling, a move that will exacerbate the impacts of climate change on communities across the country, threaten natural resources, and devastate birds that migrate from all lower 48 states.

In the comments, the attorneys general argue that the Administration cannot lawfully offer any tracts for lease at this time because the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Lease Program violates multiple federal laws and relies on a wholly deficient and unlawful environmental review. The comments call for the lease sale on January 6, 2021 to be canceled because BLM unlawfully: failed to fully assess the Coastal Plain lease program’s significant environmental harms, adopted a deficient and unlawful climate analysis of harms due to increased greenhouse gas emissions from the lease program, failed to adequately study the lease program’s impacts on migratory birds, and unlawfully prioritized oil and gas development over the Arctic Refuge’s conservation purposes. The comments also argue that any leases executed now from awarded bids will fall far short of ever generating revenue sufficient to satisfy the Tax Act and the $1.1 billion in federal tax revenue Congress intended, because Arctic Refuge oil reserves currently are uneconomic to develop and likely will remain so.

The following states joined Connecticut, Massachusetts and Washington in today’s comments: Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
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