DEEP’s Esty jumps ship. Leaves Malloy administration to go back to Yale

This from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy:

“Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced today that Daniel C. Esty is returning to Yale University, which had granted him a three-year leave of absence from his tenured professorship that allowed him to serve as Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).


“As the first Commissioner of a state agency that took on expanded responsibilities, Dan Esty led the way in integrating and reinvigorating our approach to environmental regulation and energy policy and building a strong foundation for 21st century action,” said Governor Malloy. “During the three years he served as Commissioner, innovative and breakthrough programs were put in place to successfully address long-standing environmental and energy challenges.  In addition, steps were taken to lighten the burden of electricity costs, an issue that has created real problems for our families and businesses.   I thank Commissioner Esty for all he has done in working closely with me to build a stronger future for Connecticut and I wish him all the best upon his return to his duties at Yale.”


Commissioner Esty was appointed by Governor Malloy in March 2011 to head what was then the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  He then became Commissioner of DEEP, when the role of DEP was expanded and its name was changed in July 2011.  DEEP is charged with conserving, improving, and protecting the state’s natural resources and environment and with developing and implanting policies and programs to make cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy available to Connecticut’s residents and businesses.

“I am proud of all we’ve accomplished on the environmental and energy fronts with the hard work of a skilled and dedicated agency staff and the active support, engagement and guidance of Governor Malloy,” said Commissioner Esty.  “In sum, our efforts have made Connecticut a national leader when it comes to innovative approaches to both environmental regulation and energy policy.”


He continued, “We have demonstrated that we can protect our natural resources and quality of life while strengthening our economy and creating jobs.  We have also shown that by harnessing market forces and using innovative financing solutions to leverage private capital, we can make real progress in bringing cheaper, cleaner, more reliable power for both residents and businesses.”


In his letter to the Governor, Esty provided a list of DEEP accomplishments that included:


  • Transformation of the agency which has led to faster decision making and action on permit applications, improved service to businesses and the public, and increased opportunities for people to conduct business with the agency electronically
  • Managing increased investments in state parks infrastructure, wastewater treatment projects, and brownfields redevelopment
  • Continued promotion of land conservation and open space acquisition despite tight budgets
  • Broadening the focus on outdoor recreation opportunities with the launch of the State Park Centennial Celebration and the continued growth of the No Child Left Inside program, which encourages outdoor exploration and exercise and fosters the next generation of environmental stewards
  • Re-engineering how Connecticut manages waste, designed to reap greater value from recycling and materials management
  • Delivering the state’s first Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which provided the blueprint needed to bring down energy prices, expand energy efficiency programs, increase reliance on renewable energy, expand opportunities for natural gas, and increase the reliability of the electric grid
  • Launching the first-in-the-nation Green Bank which has provided an entirely new approach to clean energy finance – driving innovation in the marketplace and funding at an unprecedented scale
  • Engaging the New England states in a path-breaking, regional commitment to building energy infrastructure including new transmission lines to access cheaper, cleaner electricity and expanded natural gas capacity to provide us a future with greater energy supply options, enhanced reliability, and lower costs


Esty will be returning to Yale to resume his work as the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy and Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for Business & Environment at Yale.


Commissioner Esty is the author or editor of numerous books and articles on environmental policy issues and the relationship between environmental and corporate strategy, including his prizewinning book, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage.


Commissioner Esty’s career includes serving in a variety of senior positions for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as practicing law in Washington, DC.  He also served as an energy and environmental policy advisor on the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign and was a member of the Obama Presidential Transition Team.


Commissioner Esty’s departure from DEEP is effective Monday, February 3, 2014.  The Governor will announce a successor in the coming weeks.”