Sen. Kelly: Why is major CT EV mandate hearing a Zoom-only event?

August 21, 2023

(CT News Junkie)

Connecticut residents will get a chance Tuesday to weigh in on proposed emissions regulations that will phase out the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035, when manufacturers will be expected to deliver exclusively electric vehicles.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will hold a virtual hearing to take public testimony beginning at 9 am. The hearing will be conducted on Zoom at this link. Members of the public wishing to provide comments may sign up to speak ahead of the hearing or submit written comments until 5 pm Wednesday.

Last week, the proposed regulations came under fire from Republican legislators who argued that electric vehicles were too expensive for many consumers and voiced concerns that Connecticut lacked the infrastructure and energy to support a transition to exclusively selling new EVs.

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly wrote to DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes, requesting that Tuesday’s hearing be delayed by one week and held at least partially in person.

“Such a major potential shift in policy ought not be solely a Zoom-only event,” Kelly wrote. “Low- and middle-income families who stand to be most negatively impacted by this mandate are currently being denied a chance to show up in-person at the State Capitol to speak out about it. People who don’t have the privilege of the technology to testify remotely or the financial capability to Zoom will have their voices effectively silenced.”

A spokesperson for the Energy and Environmental Protection Department did not immediately return a request for comment on the letter Monday afternoon.