State’s Zero-Emission Vehicles Plan Stalls
Proposed regulations banning gas-powered new vehicle sales in Connecticut by 2035 were withdrawn this week.
That legislation mandates Connecticut adopt California’s evolving emissions standards for passenger cars.
It also requires Connecticut adopt California’s standards for medium to heavy duty vehicles and ramp up sales of medium to heavy duty electric vehicles through 2032.
The proposed regulations would result in a full ban on new combustion engine vehicle sales in the state by 2035.
Speaking at a Nov. 28 press conference, Lamont administration officials and Democratic legislative leaders said they remain committed to the goals set by the 2022 legislation.
Policymakers are considering a special legislative session to address concerns about electric vehicle affordability, charging infrastructure, and the electric grid’s ability to meet demand.
“These are real concerns that can’t be just shooed away, they can’t be wished away,” House Speaker Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said. “They have to be worked on.
“We have to demonstrate to the Connecticut residents that this switch not only will save the environment, save lives and save our planet, but not leave you in a position where you can no longer afford a vehicle.”
Committee member Sen. Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) said while she supports the 2022 legislation’s goals, infrastructure and affordability issues needed addressing.
“I represent a city of 116,000 with a median income of $42,000,” she said. “Let’s work on this first.”
‘Constructive’ Regulatory Environment
“It was good to hear that they’re now going to start taking into consideration the affordability, the impact this is actually going to have on Connecticut residents,” he said.
Steve Sullivan, president of Connecticut operations for utility company Eversource, also spoke at the Nov. 28 press conference about the regulatory process needed to modernize the state’s electric grid.
“Our customers and our residents all want the same thing: clean, reliable energy at an equitable cost,” Sullivan said.
“And the best path forward to achieve that is through a constructive regulatory environment.
“A constructive regulatory environment enables a collaboration in the planning process, and a strategic partnership between the state and the utilities.”
CBIA will continue to monitor and track the regulations along with legislative proposals in the 2024 session that begins February 7.
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