CT Republican lawmakers: Electric vehicle mandate raises questions, concerns

Posted on August 16, 2023


Urge public to speak out

Public awareness campaign planned

House Republican leader Vincent Candelora and Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly today raised questions and concerns regarding the Lamont administration’s plan to enact new emissions mandates that would require all new passenger vehicle sales to be electric vehicles by 2035.

The lawmakers said the mandates, if enacted, will make the state more unaffordable for low- and middle -income residents, bankrupt Connecticut small businesses, and put thousands of people out of work.

“The wholesale elimination of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 is a policy decision that a majority of Americans don’t agree with, yet Democrats here, using scary words such as ‘survival,’ aggressively insist on forcing Connecticut down California’s ideological regulatory rabbit hole no matter the financial cost to our state or the people who live here,” House Republican leader Rep. Vincent Candelora said. “Promoting government-backed rebates, vouchers, and incentives, they continue to mask the issue of affordability of these vehicles while also downplaying the titanic effort to build out our charging infrastructure.”

“The negative ramifications of this mandate on our economy, our wallets, our infrastructure and our electric grid are all reasons to take a step back and reassess this situation,” Sen. Kelly said. “And the notion that we should make a major policy shift by banning gas powered cars without the legislature weighing in is an abdication of our duties as lawmakers.  How is that ‘Democracy’?  The people’s voice has been silenced.  Our constituents elected us—not California Gov. Gavin Newsome—to craft policy in Connecticut. We must work together to craft a policy that is right for all people in our state, not just for the wealthy and the privileged.”

The Republican lawmakers said while they support efforts to protect the environment and to make the air cleaner, 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. 

The public comment period on the mandates remains open until Aug. 23.  The lawmakers urged residents to send comments and questions to deep.mobilesources@ct.gov . A public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22 at 9:00 A.M. via Zoom.  See more information on how to register to speak at the hearing HERE.

Candelora and Kelly said Republicans are initiating a public awareness campaign which involve petitions, social media alerts, rallies at small businesses, and community discussions to inform state residents of the mandates and their potential impact on people’s lives.