Hartford, CT – Last night, the Connecticut Senate passed three key bills that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution. If passed by the House and signed by Governor Lamont, SB 10 An Climate Concerning Climate Change Mitigation would require CT to supply 100% zero-carbon electricity to all customers by 2040, SB 176 An Act Concerning Clean Energy Tariff Programs would raise solar program caps, and SB 4 An Act Concerning the Connecticut Clean Air Act would reduce greenhouse gas and other polluting emissions by expanding public and private use of electric vehicles in Connecticut to protect human health and the environment.
Both clean energy bills were passed quickly with overwhelming support. SB 10 was passed unanimously and SB 176 drew only one vote in opposition. While SB 4 generated approximately eight hours of debate, it eventually passed along a mostly party-line vote. Notably, SB 4 was passed with an amendment including language authorizing Connecticut to adopt the federally approved California emissions standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles—a standard already approved by our neighboring states of Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.
“We’re thrilled to witness the passage of SB 10, SB 176, and SB 4 in the Senate last night. We thank Senators Looney, Duff, Cohen, Haskell, Needleman, and all who voted in the affirmative for these bills. Together, they will move Connecticut forward towards eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels, expanding the use of clean energy deployment in the state, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from trucks and buses,” said Charles Rothenberger, climate and energy attorney with Save the Sound.
While only accounting for six percent of vehicles in the state, medium and heavy-duty vehicles account for 53 percent of smog-forming pollution and 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from Connecticut’s transportation sector. Given their outsize contribution to our emissions, and Connecticut’s persistent failure to achieve federal air quality standards, adoption of California’s program for medium and heavy-duty vehicles is particularly important. Connecticut is faced with a federal downgrade of our air quality status, and the American Lung Association recently rated four of Connecticut’s counties as an “F” for the number of high ozone (or “smog”) days, with two counties receiving a “D” grade, and the remaining two counties scoring only a “C.”
Rothenberger added “Now, we urge the House to act swiftly to approve these bills and send them to the Governor for his signature. Together, these bills will help Connecticut to achieve its climate commitments while providing a healthier environment for all.”