New Haven, Conn. – Today Governor Ned Lamont told reporters he is no longer pursuing passage of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a policy that has been a top priority of his administration.
Save the Sound Climate and Energy Attorney Charles Rothenberger responds:
“The governor’s apparent abandonment of his top climate priority is incredibly disappointing.
“We know that oil prices are incredibly volatile. That is one of the strongest reasons to implement TCI and provide transportation alternatives that won’t subject Connecticut’s citizens to the whims of distant oil markets. We can’t base long-term decisions about our climate commitments, transportation infrastructure, and Connecticut residents’ health on the conditions of this moment—we need to look at trends and needs over time and plan for decades to come.
“Our state is at a crossroads on climate. It has now been over two months since the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced Connecticut is not on track to meet its required emissions reductions. The Governor must take the necessary action to protect Connecticut’s residents and communities from climate change.
“That’s exactly what the Transportation and Climate Initiative does, with a proven cap-and-invest structure that would cut emissions by 26 percent over the next ten years and invest in clean transportation and improved air quality in the communities that need it most.
“Connecticut has been working on this plan for over 11 years, since Governor Jodi Rell signed Connecticut onto the Transportation and Climate Initiative compact. To abandon it now is short-sighted and irresponsible.
“Climate change won’t wait for when it’s politically convenient. If our state’s leaders take climate change seriously—and especially after this past summer’s storms, they should—they need to step up to the plate and show the same urgency in their action that they’ve shown in their speeches. The cost of inaction on climate is too steep.
We urge Governor Lamont to reconsider his remarks and come together with legislative leadership to identify a path forward for this critical policy.”