Government watchdogs want answers from DEEP on Commissioner Esty’s contact with utility executives. DEEP responds, too


The Connecticut Citizen Action Group and Common Cause in Connecticut have filed a request under the state Freedom of Information Act to review communications between Dept of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Dan Esty and utility executives. Here’s the request, followed by an initial response by Dennis Schain, communications director for the DEEP:

Dear Commissioner Esty,


Pursuant to the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act section 1-200, the co-signers of this inquiry would like to request access to obtain and review copies of records concerning:


  • Daniel Esty
  • Robert Klee
  • Tracy Babbidge
  • Robert Kaliszewski
  • Katie Dykes
  • Alex Kragie
  • And any other DEEP staff involved in the development of the Comprehensive Energy Strategy, the Renewable Portfolio Standard and Senate Bill 1138.


Any and all documents from the past year related to the Comprehensive Energy Strategy, the Renewable Portfolio Standard, and Senate Bill 1138 including but not limited to any memoranda, e-mails, and records of meetings and discussions internally to DEEP and with the following companies, agents and lobbyists of these companies; Sustainable Energy Advantage LLC, Northeast Utilities, Connecticut Light and Power, NSTAR Electric and Gas, NU Transmission, Yankee Gas Service Corporation, Hydro-Québec, Heartland Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council, Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, Range Resources Appalachia LLC, Talisman Energy USA Inc, Shell Western E&P Co Lp, Atlas Resources LLC, EQT Production Co, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, Chevron Appalachia LLC, and EOG Resources Inc.


In addition, we request any and all documents including but not limited to any memoranda, e-mails, and records of meetings and discussions with any financial firms including but not limited to UBS.


Finally, we request the records of Commissioner Daniel C.Esty’sdaily work schedule from the period beginning April 1, 2012 through the current date that may be kept by the commissioner himself or any appointed and/or hired aide, special assistant, assistant, scheduler or other who may have access to such records including but not limited to Mr. Alex Kragie.


As stated by statute, the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act requires a prompt response to our request.  Please contact one of the co-signers of this inquiry at your earliest convenience if the expectation to fulfill this request is determined to be more than five days with a determined time and place that we will be able to obtain and review the requested records.


In the case of a denial of this request in its entirety or in part, please contact one of the co-signers of this inquiry without delay with a detailed explanation citing reasons for denial as wells as instructions detailing the appeal process entrusted to us by law.


In a consistent effort to protect our environment and save money, we will accept and prefer electronic copies when available. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  A hard copy is to follow.

Here’s Dennis Schain’s response:

“We just received this FOIA request.  We will review it and begin assembling the material requested in full compliance with FOIA requirements.  It is a wide ranging request so we expect it will take some period of time to so.


When we do respond, it should come as a surprise to no one, that the records will show ongoing contacts and conversations with a wide range of people across the entire energy arena.  This agency is charged with developing and implementing energy policies – and the only way to do that effectively is to be talking constantly with all stakeholders.


We also believe the records will show that this agency is making tremendous progress on bringing cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power to the families and businesses of Connecticut.  It is a record that is establishing Connecticut as a national leader in building a new energy future.”