Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Robert Dubrow

Second Advisor

Laura Bozzi


Due to its adverse impacts on public health via contributions to global climate change and emissions of toxic substances throughout the life cycle, natural gas use should be eliminated as quickly as possible in Connecticut. This project aims to 1) identify the policies and programs concerning all stages of the natural gas life cycle, in and affecting Connecticut; 2) evaluate the capacity of these policies and programs to mitigate public health hazards, promote environmental justice, and achieve rapid elimination of natural gas use; and 3) recommend policy and program alternatives that would accomplish these goals in a more timely manner. Policies and programs are classified into the following categories: demand reduction, electricity generation and consumption, and regional electricity transmission and procurement.

The following recommendations are based on data trends, policy comparisons, and principles of equity and justice: 1) End all energy efficiency incentives that support new natural gas-powered appliances; 2) Invest more in equitable energy efficiency programs for renters and other vulnerable groups; 3) Expand demand response programs to include innovative energy storage strategies such as electric vehicle load management; 4) Prioritize environmental justice in accounting for emissions reductions to meet state targets; 5) Redesign regional wholesale electricity markets to enable grid-scale procurement of clean energy resources; 6) Prohibit siting of new fossil fuel electric power plants, including natural gas electric power plants, in Connecticut; 7) Coordinate end-use electrification, energy efficiency, and grid decarbonization; 8) Create a suite of equitable fuel-switching programs to promote electrification of energy end uses; 9) Review and replace policies that perpetuate ratepayer-funded natural gas expansion; and 10) Establish a sunset date for natural gas in new construction.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access