Minimal impact from early termination of supplemental unemployment benefits, disruptions but no major cost impact expected from Hurricane Ida, the growth of wind in new electricity generation, and calls for lower electricity and health care rates in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.
An analysis by the Wall Street Journal concludes that states that ended federal supplemental unemployment benefits early saw job growth that was about equal to that of states that retained their benefits, which are set to expire this weekend. The newspaper concluded, using Labor Department data, that states that ended benefits early saw a 1.33 percent increase in nonfarm payrolls between April and July while states that kept benefits saw a 1.37 percent increase.
Gulf Coast refineries are continuing to assess damages from Hurricane Ida and grappling with power outages caused by the storm. However, this situation is not expected to cause a major jump in gas prices, in part because the United States is less reliant on Gulf of Mexico for its oil production.
Wind power accounted for the largest share of new energy capacity in the United States in 2020, accounting for 42 percent of new electricity generation. The data from the Department of Energy shows that the growth of land-based wind has helped boost its capacity, accounting for more than half of electricity generation in some states, while offshore wind operations that have reached at least the permitting stage also grew substantially.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is calling on the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to approve an interim decrease in electricity rates for Eversource customers. Tong said the utility’s costs have decreased since 2018, but that those reductions have not been passed on to customers.
A group of health advocates, elected officials, and residents are calling on Connecticut’s insurance department to reject proposed rate hikes for health plans set to begin in 2022. Proposed increases range from 5.1 percent to 12.3 percent, which advocates say will negatively impact residents with lower incomes and force more people to drop their insurance.