McKinney Leads Global Warming Bill to Passage in State Senate

May 5, 2008

Hartford, CT – State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield), ranking member on the General Assembly’s Environment Committee, today helped lead HB 5600, An Act Concerning Global Warming Solutions, to unanimous passage in the State Senate.

The bill, which requires total greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and to 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050, passed the House on April 28 and now heads to Governor Rell’s desk where it is expected to be signed into law.

“Connecticut continues to be a leader in the nation on environmental policy,” said Senator McKinney. “By capping greenhouse gas emissions, we will reduce our carbon footprint, conserve energy and improve air quality in Connecticut while setting an important example for the rest of the nation.”

Senator McKinney was one of the principle sponsors of a 2004 bill that established voluntary goals for reducing greenhouse gases and has been a chief proponent of the Global Warming bill since it was introduced earlier this year. He thanked Environment Committee Chairman, State Senator Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) for his leadership and advocacy on this issue.

With today’s action, Connecticut becomes just the fifth state to establish limits for greenhouse gas emissions. California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Washington State have passed similar measures.

“Taking steps to reduce carbon emissions and combat global warming will have a positive impact on our environment, public safety and national security,” said Senator McKinney. “It will lead to cleaner air, greater energy conservation and reduce our dependency on the foreign oil we receive from unstable countries.”

In addition to establishing a schedule by which the state must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, HB 5600 also: requires state agencies to identify policies to meet energy saving goals and emission limits; requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to publish a baseline inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and to recommend actions to achieve the necessary reductions; requires the DEP to evaluate the potential of low-carbon fuel standards for motor vehicles and home heating fuels to achieve net carbon reductions; establishes a Climate Change Impacts Subcommittee to recommend to the Governor and legislature ways the state can adapt to and help mitigate global warming; and authorizes DEP to work with other states and Canadian provinces to develop a cap-and-trade program to achieve greenhouse gas limits.