Sen. Seminara cites serious concerns about CT electric vehicle mandate

August 23, 2023

Sen. Seminara sent the following message to the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection:

[email protected]

Aug. 21, 2023

As the State Senator for the 8th District, I want to express my serious concerns regarding putting Connecticut on track to ban sales of new gasoline- or diesel-powered cars by 2035.

We all support efforts to make our air cleaner and to safeguard our environment, but this mandate restricts consumer freedom and has not been thought through.

I believe Connecticut is unprepared for the challenges these policies will create. A recent Waterbury Republican-American editorial noted that we still need clear, credible answers to the following questions:

  • Is Connecticut’s electrical grid robust enough to accommodate the tens of thousands of cars and trucks that will be plugged in for recharging every night?
  • Connecticut’s electrical rates are among the highest in the nation. Will the addition of large numbers of EVs make a bad problem worse?
  • Have pressing issues related to EVs been resolved? Among them: fire hazards associated with EVs, affordability compared with conventional vehicles, availability of minerals and chemicals required in the manufacture of EV batteries, sufficiency of charging stations, and the likelihood greenhouse-gas emissions might actually increase as a result of mining, battery manufacture, and the need for increased generation of electricity?
  • Is Connecticut prepared for the possibility large numbers of motorists will keep their conventional vehicles after 2035 out of preference or financial necessity, even as these vehicles grow older and less reliable, safe and efficient??
  • Won’t this policy make the United States more reliant on adversary nations such as China and Russia, and contribute to the use of slavery and child labor in African cobalt mines?

I worry what a forced move to electric vehicles might mean for the state’s lower-income communities. 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.

I also have concerns about lithium-ion battery disposal. Millions and millions of tons of these batteries will eventually be discarded rather than recycled.  Has the negative impact on our landfills and our environment been thoroughly considered and analyzed?  Where is that analysis? What is the plan?

For these reasons, I cannot support this mandate.


Lisa Seminara