Connecticut promoted a natural gas expansion plan in 2014 that was supposed to save taxpayers money. Natural gas prices are now soaring, promising a costly winter

In August 2014, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, officials from the Fairfield County town of Wilton and representatives of Yankee Gas celebrated the start of a large-scale natural gas expansion project estimated to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Malloy announced in 2012 an ambitious goal of connecting 300,000 households to natural gas by 2020. Local officials are now bracing for a costly winter as natural gas prices soar. Connecticut Natural Gas, Southern Connecticut Gas and Yankee Gas have installed about 381 miles of gas lines from 2014 to 2019, with 2020 information not yet reviewed, according to the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. The Malloy administration said in 2013 its goal over 10 years was to build about 900 miles of gas mains, focusing on factories, hospitals, schools and other buildings with significant energy consumption. In their battle with Malloy, family-owned oil dealerships said the governor favored utility-owned gas companies over small businesses. Now they’re opposing the Lamont administration’s push for electric heat pump subsidies.

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