Connecticut has had some success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but Gov. Ned Lamont and his administration say it’s not enough.
“Climate delay is just as dangerous for our kids, our communities as climate denial,” Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes says.
Dykes says the lack of investment in things like electric vehicles is contributing to an increase in emissions from vehicles.
“The tools that we have are not enough. We’re going to need more tools especially if we’re going to be asked to reduce emissions in transportation,” Dykes says.
The General Assembly shelved the idea of joining the Transportation Climate Initiative earlier this summer. The revenue from a fee on fuel producers would have helped fund programs and projects that lower carbon emissions.
Republicans have called it a tax and held rallies to draw attention to the issue. They plan to hold another one tomorrow.
“They just put a $100 million tax on trucks for no real reason other than they can,” Kelly says.
But Republicans believe the state already has enough money to make the necessary investments.
“The solution the Democrats always come up with is the middle-class wallet,” Kelly says.
“I know everyone’s on street corners yelling ‘just say no.’ Look, I'm a reasonable guy. Come to the table. If you’ve got a better idea I’m all in favor of it. If you’ve got no ideas, I’ve got to move forward,” Lamont says.
According to state data, emissions in the transportation sector went up 3% from 2017 to 2018, the latest years for which the data is currently available.
She says that’s because there are more people driving cars that aren’t electric.
"We haven’t invested in things that give me confidence we’re going to see those numbers coming down," Dykes says.
She says the temporary dip last spring due to Covid-19 has quickly rebounded.
“We do expect that it will have a modest impact on retail gasoline prices,” Dykes says.