The Connecticut Coalition for Climate Action, a broad-based group of health care providers, scientists, environmental organizations, religious groups and others, promotes cleaner transportation options that get Connecticut residents to where they live, work, learn, and play with fewer emissions.
Toward this goal, the Connecticut General Assembly adopted emission standards back in 2004 that have reduced air pollution and brought more fuel-efficient cars to our state. This legislative action put us on the path toward cleaner air, improved health, and better choices for Connecticut residents, and the legislature has recognized this success by repeatedly updating the standards. Last year, this body again reaffirmed its support, adding clean truck standards to the program.
Unfortunately, Connecticut’s progress is now threatened with the withdrawal of the Clean Car regulations that were under consideration by the Regulation Review Committee. This action will put residents’ health at risk and lead to dirtier air and fewer options for Connecticut drivers.
If Connecticut does not adopt these updated regulations, we will be the only Clean Cars state from Virginia to Vermont not to do so. If we listen to the misinformation spread by the fossil fuel industry, we will be out of step with the direction of the vehicle market and jeopardize the well-being of state residents.
Clean vehicles are coming to Connecticut, with or without these regulations. Our current market share for EVs is 9.3%—more than NY, VT, ME, and RI, all states that have adopted or are in the process of adopting the clean vehicle regulations. What we’ll miss without these regulations is all the consumer benefits they contain, such as incentives to manufacturers to provide lower-priced vehicles (targeted at $20,275) to jurisdictions participating in the regulations, providing vehicles to low-income populations, and enhanced manufacturer warranties for batteries and other components.
It is clear that all states will need to invest in our grid and EV charging capacity to meet growing market demand. Connecticut recognizes this and has a plan. The state already established an EV Managed Charging Program three years ago to expand the EV charging network and access to that network. Connecticut is also slated to receive approximately $52 million over the first five years of the federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.
Connecticut has long been a leader on clean transportation, setting policy on both clean air and consumer protection. We can be again.
We urge the Connecticut General Assembly to work together to adopt the California Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII), Low Emission Vehicle (LEV IV), Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT), and Heavy-Duty Omnibus regulations no later than the first 30 days of the 2024 legislative session to get Connecticut moving in the right direction again.
The steering committee of CT Coalition for Climate Action includes:
American College of Physicians – CT Chapter
CT Health Professionals for Climate Action
CT League of Conservation Voters
Conservation Law Foundation
Interreligious Eco-justice Network
Mark A. Mitchell, MD
People’s Action for Clean Energy
Save the Sound
Sierra Club CT Chapter
The Nature Conservancy in CT