A Guide for Testifying at Public Hearings and Reaching State Legislators: Click Here...

Rep. Callahan, CT GOP lawmakers: “Pump the brakes” on proposed ban on gas-powered vehicle sales 

Posted on November 16, 2023

Hartford, Conn.– In advance of a key legislative committee vote on Nov. 28, Environment Committee ranking member Representative Patrick Callahan (R-108) joined members of the Connecticut House and Senate Republican caucuses to urge Democrats to “pump the brakes” on the Lamont administration’s proposal to ban the sales of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 and send the proposed regulations back to the full legislature for more deliberation.

The lawmakers said the mandates, if enacted, will make the state more unaffordable for low- and middle-income families, bankrupt small businesses, put people out of work and require billions of dollars in upgrades to the state’s power grid and charging station infrastructure.

“There is no plan in place to roll out these emissions standards and a change this big should be evolutionary not revolutionary, said Callahan. “I see this as a reverse Robin Hood situation, because we have to subsidize these vehicles and subsidize the grid, leaving the middle class and lower class to bear the brunt of the cost. Until we have a real system where we can get cheap, clean electricity in Connecticut, you’re simply trading tailpipe for smokestack.”

The legislature’s Regulation Review Committee will vote on the mandate during the panel’s Nov. 28 meeting.

“With a $2.5 billion price tag to increase electric grid capacity, monthly utility bills for residents will go up,” said Callahan. “Heavy duty trucks will cost more to operate because they will only be able to carry two-thirds their capacity and have half the range so thinks like grocery bills will also go up because the cost will be passed on to consumers.”

Representatives of Connecticut’s fuel distributors and truckers say the state’s move to adopt California regulations to phase out gasoline powered cars and trucks in favor of electric vehicles is “too much, too soon,” and will ultimately drive-up costs.

The Republican lawmakers said 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.

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly and House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora support moving Connecticut off of the California regulatory scheme and following the EPA regulations, like 32 other states, which require reduced emissions but do not mandate EVs.