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

Posted on November 17, 2023


In advance of a key legislative committee vote on Nov. 28, House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora and Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly today urged 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.

“While we all support 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,” Sen. Kelly said. “And the notion that we must make a major policy shift because California decided to do it seems contrary to our long history of constitutional government where the legislature makes important policy decisions, not bureaucrats. We must work together to craft an environmental policy that is right for all people in our state, not just the wealthy, the privileged, and those who can afford a luxury electric vehicle.”

“A ban on gas-powered vehicles will impact nearly every aspect of our lives, from the cost of the food we put on our tables to our ability to move freely in the time and manner we see fit,” RepCandelora said. “Residents and businesses throughout this state are just now beginning to find out what’s at stake at the end of this month when a small group of legislators will decide the fate this proposal. Not only do citizens deserve more time, they deserve to have their elected voices in Hartford—their state representative and state senator—weigh in on this monumental shift in policy with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote. Regulations Review committee members must send this back to the legislature for examination and deliberation, providing the public opportunity to share their comments, concerns, and questions at every step along the way.” 

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

In a letter to the committee, the Connecticut Farm Bureau wrote, “While we understand the need to reach zero-emissions to combat climate change and improve our air quality, we must take a step back and strategically plan to reach those goals before adopting these regulations. Farms do not invest in technology until the reliability is proven, the support systems are in-place, and a cost/benefit analysis has been developed. We must build the electrical infrastructure, allow technology to catch-up, and establish dedicated funding to assist farm businesses, and other sectors of the Connecticut economy with the cost of compliance to these standards before ever adopting these regulations. On behalf of the Connecticut Farm Bureau and our farm family businesses, we urge you to vote against the adoption of these proposed regulations.”

Representatives of Connecticut’s fuel distributors and truckers also 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. 

Kelly and 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.

Kelly and Candelora said Republicans have initiated a public awareness campaign which involves petitions, social media alerts, and community discussions to educate state residents of the mandates and their potential impact on people’s lives. A website – www.BanWithNoPlanCT.com – has been created to enable residents to weigh in.