Press Release: Legislators, Enviros, Business Leaders, Youth, and Medical Professionals Call on State Legislature to Commit CT to a Clean Energy Future

Hartford, CT – Bills requiring 100% clean electricity by 2040, raising solar program caps, and reducing emissions from medium and heavy-duty vehicles have made it out of their respective committees in this year’s legislative session. Now, environmental advocates, joined by supportive legislators, business leaders, medical professionals, and young people, are calling on the General Assembly to make sure these bills make it past the finish line. The leaders took their stance outside the Connecticut State Capitol just a day after the release of the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Climate Advocate Alex Rodriguez kicks Climate Action Advocacy Day with supporters. Participants in attendance (from left to right) included: Ann Gadwah, Sierra Club CT, Nathan Frohling, The Nature Conservancy, Liam Enea, UConn Clean Energy Society, State Rep. Anne Hughes, Dr. Seth Lotterman, President of CT College of Emergency Physicians, and Jeffrey Meyer, Chairman of Juicebar.

“The United Nations’ most recent IPCC report reaffirms that we, as a society, need to relinquish our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Save the Sound Climate Advocate Alex Rodriguez. “Connecticut leaders can take action this year to protect public health, build a sustainable economy, and meet their climate commitments. Key committees have done the right thing by advancing SB 10, SB 176, and HB 5039. Now the full General Assembly must act swiftly on these clean energy and clean transportation policies if they are serious about a safe future for their constituents.”

Energy & Technology Co-Chairs State Senator Norm Needleman and State Representative David Arconti said in a joint statement: “We need to take action to clean our energy grid and prepare it for the future. Getting to a net-zero energy grid by 2040 is vitally important for our environment, for energy reliability and for the people of Connecticut. I pledge to continue working with my colleagues to fight for the future of clean energy in our state.”

State Representative Anne Hughes said: “We have several important pieces of legislation to champion during this short legislative session, this short window of opportunity to make significant, intersectional policy change. We are rallying our legislative leaders with the public, to collaborate on the local and state level to demonstrate to the country what climate-smart, strategic investment to shift our economy from carbon-reliant to a carbon zero economic future looks like. Connecticut is about to open that window wider with SB 10, SB 176, and HB 5039 to let the sun and wind power inject our economic transition with clean electricity, along with reducing emissions from medium and heavy-duty trucks for a climate-resilient, justice-driven future.”

“It is a pleasure to participate and an honor to be speaking at Save the Sound’s Climate Action Advocacy Day to address the critical need for Connecticut to implement medium & heavy-duty vehicle emission standards on par with those in California,” said Jeffrey Mayer, Chairman of JuiceBar. “As a leading manufacturer of Made-in-America charging stations for electric vehicles, JuiceBar is fully committed to a sustainable, zero emissions future for our country, and fully supports the climate action agenda in the current legislative session.”

“Connecticut’s poor air quality actually worsens acute and chronic respiratory problems like asthma, COPD, and other lung diseases and in some cases leads to premature death. When you look at ways we can make a difference, you have to look at transportation—a leading cause of our air quality problems. By passing the new vehicle standards included in HB 5039 we’ll begin to address these negative health consequences,” said Seth Lotterman, MD, President of the CT College of Emergency Physicians and Hartford Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine Assistant Residency Director.

UConn Clean Energy Society President Liam Enea said: “One in four American teens are taking action on climate change because the stakes are too great to ignore. My generation is inheriting a world of climate catastrophes, polluted air, and fossil-fueled energy wars that would endanger the electric grid. Connecticut needs clean power and transportation now to avoid this fate. SB 10, SB 176, and HB 5039 are bills that are vital to eliminating Connecticut’s dependence on fossil fuels and ensuring us a healthier future.”

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