Gov. Lamont calls for legislative action on Transportation and Climate Initiative; Save the Sound budget agenda would bring jobs and health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 10, 2021 

Contact: Laura McMillan, lmcmillan@savethesound.org

Hartford, Conn. – In his annual budget address today, Governor Lamont called on the state legislature to support and ratify Connecticut’s participation in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). Save the Sound strongly endorses this call. 

Charles Rothenberger, Save the Sound climate and energy attorney, said: 

“While Connecticut seems on track to meet its short-term climate targets, moving forward we face the challenge of needing to decrease emissions at a much quicker pace to meet the longer-term greenhouse gas reduction targets. And we can’t succeed without a strong focus on transportation. The Transportation and Climate Initiative provides that focus.

“In Connecticut and throughout the region, transportation is the largest source of emissions, accounting for approximately 38 percent of our climate emissions. Cars and trucks also generate two-thirds of the NOx that contributes to our smog (ground level ozone) problem.

“TCI is a market-based approach to cost-effectively cutting transportation emissions. Building on the regional model that’s already successfully reducing emissions from the electricity sector, it also provides for significant investment to in underserved communities and establishes an equity advisory board to ensure investments have the most meaningful impact possible. This will not only lessen climate change, but also directly improve air quality throughout the state—especially in our most overburdened neighborhoods where proximity to busy highways leads to alarming asthma rates.” 

Lamont’s call for TCI was part of a focus on “Investing in our Future,” with three pillars: Public Health, New Green Jobs, and Environmental Justice. Practical investments in the environment support all three.  

Save the Sound’s 2021 state legislative agenda includes appropriations- and finance-related policy actions to: 

  • Provide municipalities with the right to generate revenue and invest in climate resilience, flooding, and water pollution abatement. 
  • Enhance resiliency bonding to ensure Connecticut can provide nature-based solutions—like green infrastructure and living shorelines—for flood management and limiting sea level rise impacts. 
  • Establish a fee for certain applications with determined impacts to fund environmental justice programs. 
  • Mitigate the impact of the 2022 state employee retirement cliff by allowing for rehires now, and protecting funds for rehiring in those jobs that retire at DEEP. 

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