CT GOP lawmakers: Electric vehicle mandate raises questions, concerns

August 16, 2023

Urge public to speak out-Public awareness campaign planned


Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly and House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora today raised concerns regarding the Lamont administration’s plan to enact new emissions mandates that require all new passenger vehicle sales to be electric by 2035.

The lawmakers said the mandates, if enacted, will make the state more unaffordable for low- and middle -income residents, bankrupt Connecticut small businesses, and put thousands of people out of work.

“The wholesale elimination of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 is a policy decision that a majority of Americans don’t agree with, yet Democrats here, using scary words such as ‘survival,’ aggressively insist on forcing Connecticut down California’s ideological regulatory rabbit hole no matter the financial cost to our state or the people who live here,” Rep. Candelora said. “Promoting government-backed rebates, vouchers, and incentives, they continue to mask the issue of affordability of these vehicles while also downplaying the titanic effort to build out our charging infrastructure.”

“While we all want clean air and green initiatives, we need to take a step back and reassess this policy because it will crush working- and middle-class family budgets, kill jobs, and place enormous strain on an electric grid and infrastructure that is not ready for it,” Sen. Kelly said. “And the notion that we must make a major policy shift because California decided to do it seems contrary to our long history of constitutional government where the legislature makes decisions, not bureaucrats. We must work together to craft an environmental policy that is right for all people in our state, not just the wealthy, the privileged, and those who can afford a luxury electric vehicle.”

The Republican lawmakers said while they support efforts to protect the environment and to make the air cleaner, the multiple question marks and contradictions surrounding the mandate’s achievability, affordability, and budgetary impact are all reasons to take a pause in order to understand their full ramifications.

The public comment period on the mandates remains open until Aug. 23.  The lawmakers urged residents to send comments and questions to [email protected] . A public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22 at 9:00 A.M. via Zoom.

Kelly and Candelora said Republicans are initiating a public awareness campaign which involves petitions, social media alerts, rallies at small businesses, and community discussions to inform state residents of the mandates and their potential impact on people’s lives.