Legislative Republicans Seek to Hit the Brakes on Implementing California EV Regulations

August 17, 2023

CT News Junkie

Legislative Republicans called Wednesday for the reversal of proposed regulations that would require all new vehicles to be electric by 2035 as a result of a state law tying Connecticut’s emissions standards to those of California.

Members of the House and Senate Republican caucuses gathered outside the state Capitol building for a mid-day press conference in which they argued that electric vehicles were too expensive for many consumers and voiced concerns that Connecticut lacked the infrastructure and energy to support a mandated transition to electric vehicles.

“This is just saying, down the road, this is what we’re going to do without putting any of the building blocks in place to achieve that goal,” Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly said. “While we’d love nothing better than a greener environment and cleaner air, we’ve got to work on today’s problems, today’s solutions to make those ideas a reality.”

Connecticut’s light-duty vehicle emissions standards have been tied to California’s since 2004 when the legislature passed a bipartisan law linking the two.

Last month, Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration proposed new regulations based on those standards, which will require auto manufacturers to deliver exclusively electric vehicles to the state by 2035. The regulations follow similar actions by eight other states.

On Wednesday, the Republican lawmakers said the policy linking Connecticut to California had been intended to encourage efficiency standards in gas-powered vehicles not prohibit the sale of those vehicles in 12 years.

The legislators urged residents to submit testimony opposing the new regulations ahead of an Aug. 22 Department of Energy and Environmental Protection public hearing on the matter.