(Photo) Sen. Sampson: “Your voices make a difference! Stay active.”

November 28, 2023

For Immediate Release

State Sen. Rob Sampson (R-Wolcott) today issued the following statement regarding the governor’s Nov. 27 withdrawal of proposed regulations requiring all new vehicles sold in Connecticut to be electric.

“First and foremost, we live in a free nation that guarantees our citizens the freedom of choice and expression. Those freedoms extend to their consumer purchases. A responsible and truly representative government should not use force to compel citizens to buy one product over another. These same freedoms should extend to the automakers who could be forced to completely overhaul their entire product line in the span of 12 years. If automakers decide to make so-called ‘eco-friendly’ vehicles and consumers decide to buy those vehicles, that should be by their choice.

“Choice and freedom in the marketplace must be protected. This is how technology advances and better products are realized. This is especially true in this case where electric vehicle technology is in its early stages and the benefits of implementing such a policy for one small U.S. state is negligible. The drawbacks, on the other hand, are known and numerous: the cost of infrastructure, the failure of our electric grid to support such a transition, and the fact that much of our electricity production relies on natural gas.

“The larger debate over the impact of mankind on climate change should continue based only in legitimate science. For our purposes as a small state legislature, the argument over climate change is moot since the banning of gas-powered autos and trucks in favor of electric vehicles will do little to nothing to reduce the amount of so-called ‘fossil fuels’ in use or CO2 emissions. Our electric grid relies predominately upon natural gas. This is the true source of the electricity that would be used to charge and recharge the batteries in electric vehicles. Until our electric grid is powered by something other than natural gas, the push for electric vehicles is unnecessary, and obviously based solely in politics and hysteria. More importantly, one small U.S. state making such a commitment is as implausible as it is pointless. Without a worldwide commitment and effort, there is zero attainable benefit to our environment through this policy agenda.

“The average cost of electric vehicles today is somewhere in the range of $50,000 to $60,000, which is far and above what many Connecticut residents can afford. This number will likely climb by year 2035. The result will be fewer newer vehicles being purchased. People will choose to retain their older, less efficient gas-powered vehicles longer. Again, this is another result in direct contradiction of the stated goals of this initiative. We must also consider the economic, geo-political and environmental impact that electric vehicles reap in terms of their production and recycling. The materials used in their production come from ecologically questionable cobalt-mining in third-world countries by unfriendly—and even adversarial—nations with egregious environmental and human rights records. Countless news stories have been published itemizing the damage to the environment, as well as the human suffering that is already underway to satisfy the demand for lithium batteries. These batteries raise concerns also. They have proven to be dangerous in terms of potential fires and the inability to be recycled in an environmentally conscious manner.

“Connecticut’s electric grid simply cannot handle the increase in electric usage that will be needed to power these electric vehicles. Connecticut residents already pay some of the highest premiums for electricity in the nation. Our electric grid, energy production, and overall infrastructure will need to be dramatically overhauled, and a span of ten to 12 years is not nearly enough time for this to happen.
“In August, I implored state bureaucrats to reconsider these regulations and asked that they engage the legislature in any future discussions so that we may cooperatively find ways to make our state more economically and environmentally friendly in a safe and responsible manner.

“In recent weeks, I have held multiple public forums to keep citizens informed of what has been going on. I thank my constituents for getting engaged in the process by making phone calls and emailing elected officials. I thank them for signing the petition at www.BanWithNoPlanCT.com. Your voices make a difference!

What we must do now is remain vigilant. Stay active. This topic will be an ongoing conversation in the 16th District and at the State Capitol for many months to come. The Senate Republicans’ alternative solutions to achieving cleaner air without mandates can be viewed at www.CTSenateRepublicans.com. I will continue to be your voice.”