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    Republicans reject complete transition to electric vehicles by 2035

    Republican Legislators Blast Gov. Lamont’s Proposal to Require Zero-Emission Electric Cars in Connecticut by 2035

    Republican legislators in Connecticut strongly criticized Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposal to mandate the sale of zero-emission electric cars in the state by 2035. They argued that such a ban on gasoline-powered cars is impractical due to the lack of electric charging stations and the high costs associated with upgrading the state’s electric grid. Republicans called for Connecticut to follow federal standards, which do not require electric vehicles, rather than adopting the stricter California model favored by Lamont.

    House Republican leader Vincent Candelora labeled the proposal irresponsible and nonsensical, stating that it imposes artificial mandates on the residents of Connecticut without providing significant emissions reductions. Candelora emphasized the need to allow the market to determine the transition to electric vehicles and criticized the lack of a comprehensive plan for implementing the proposed ban.

    The issue is currently up for review by the legislature’s Regulations Review Committee, which is scheduled to vote on the regulations on November 28. If accepted, the regulations will be enacted without further action from the House of Representatives and Senate. However, if rejected, they will return to the legislature for further discussion.

    Despite the Republican backlash, Gov. Lamont stands by the proposal, arguing that the shift to zero-emission vehicles is already underway in Connecticut. He pointed out that major automobile manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, and Toyota, have all announced plans to increase their electric vehicle sales. Lamont sees the proposal as an opportunity to promote cleaner air and believes it is both the right and smart decision for the state.

    While advocates of the proposal highlight the declining costs of electric cars and the availability of tax credits, opponents argue that the current infrastructure is insufficient to support widespread adoption. Dennis Lyons, vice president at DATTCO Coach & Tour, raised concerns about the high costs and limited range of electric buses, emphasizing the need for a better plan.

    Republicans have launched a website called BanWithNoPlanCT.com to voice their opposition to the proposal.

    State environmental commissioner Katie Dykes expressed strong support for the proposed regulations, highlighting the health and economic benefits of adopting emissions standards. Dykes argued that Connecticut has some of the worst air quality in the country, with emissions from the transportation sector being a major contributor. She believes that implementing the proposed standards will provide residents with cleaner vehicle options, reduce healthcare costs, and help the state meet federal health-based standards for smog.

    Some Republican legislators, including Enfield Senator John Kissel, share the concerns raised by their party colleagues. Kissel acknowledged that while the committee can approve or reject the regulations, it does not have the authority to make amendments.

    To promote the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, Connecticut is set to receive $53 million in federal funding over the next five years specifically for the installation of electric charging stations. This move aims to encourage the use of electric cars and reduce air pollution. The funding will prioritize building charging stations within five miles of busy highways.

    Despite the ongoing debates and disagreements, Gov. Lamont remains committed to his proposal, citing the state’s legislative history of following California emissions standards for passenger cars since 2004. Lamont believes that aligning with neighboring states and embracing electric vehicles will help Connecticut achieve a cleaner and healthier future.

    In conclusion, the proposal to require zero-emission electric cars in Connecticut by 2035 has sparked intense debate between Republican legislators and Gov. Lamont. While Republicans argue that the proposal is impractical and lacks a comprehensive plan, Lamont and supporters see it as a necessary step toward reducing emissions and promoting cleaner air. The final decision rests with the Regulations Review Committee, which will vote on the proposed regulations on November 28.

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