Sen. Gordon Supports CT’s Rural Communities, Disappointed By Passage of Democratic Plan Raising Costs of Home Heating Oil & Gasoline

March 30, 2023

State Sen. Jeff Gordon (R-Woodstock), joined by Environment Committee ranking member State Sen. Stephen Harding (R-Brookfield), today expressed disappointment after legislative Democrats in the Environment Committee last week advanced Governor Lamont’s bill (S.B. 1145) that will make home heating oil and gasoline more expensive, and resembles ‘TCI on steroids.’


All Republicans on the committee voted ‘no’ on the bill after several unsuccessful attempts to amend the legislation to protect Connecticut farmers and consumers.


Senator Gordon said, “Without question, this legislation will impose a significant financial strain on all of us in the state. Though I do not serve on the Environment Committee, rest assured that I will oppose attempts to raise the cost of living for families. Imposing new taxes and financial burdens on hard-working people and job-creating small businesses in our communities is not the solution. We live in a beautiful area and certainly want clean air and water. However, this approach is misguided and counterproductive.


“The repercussions of this bill would be felt deeply also by farmers of Northeastern Connecticut. The weight of environmental policy should not disproportionately impact those living in our region and across the state. Our collective responsibility to the environment demands a more measured and reasonable course of action, where the people’s representatives have the final say and not a bureaucracy that is unaccountable to the people, yet would be making big decisions that would have large impacts on their lives.”


Senator Harding, whose district includes similar rural communities in the Litchfield Hills, said, “With all that ails this state–a labor shortage, a health care affordability crisis, a public safety emergency, and crushing inflation and taxation–we cannot fathom a costly new regime to regulate our lawnmowers and leaf blowers. What works for Californian families, lawns of palm and lemon trees, is not remotely analogous to the oak-lined lawns of Connecticut.”


Last week, Republicans issued a warning about the bill’s negative impacts.


S.B. 1145 will:


  • Allow the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to join in programs that place new taxes on gasoline and other fuels.
  • Allow DEEP to enter TCI and other fuel tax programs without the legislature’s approval.
  • Allow DEEP to implement “market-based compliance mechanisms”, i.e., cap and trade or carbon taxes, without legislative approval.
  • Authorize DEEP to lock Connecticut into emissions programs which are regressive and would disproportionately impact low- and middle-income working families and seniors on fixed incomes.
  • Shift authority from the legislature to DEEP by allowing DEEP to enter into agreements with other states and the Canadian provinces on emissions programs that will increase the cost of energy.