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CT Hosts Regional Clean Transportation Listening Session

Building the infrastructure for electric vehicles will be key to reducing carbon emissions from transportation. (stanvpetersen/Pixabay)
Building the infrastructure for electric vehicles will be key to reducing carbon emissions from transportation. (stanvpetersen/Pixabay)
May 21, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. — The second in a series of public listening sessions on the development of a regional clean transportation and climate initiative is taking place in Hartford today.

Policy makers, business leaders and other stakeholders from seven Northeastern states and Washington, D.C., are seeking input on ways to modernize the transportation system and combat global climate change. Transportation is now the leading source of carbon emissions.

According to Bruce Ho, senior advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council, states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, including Connecticut, have cut emissions from power plants in half.

"Transportation emissions have remained constant or even grown a bit over the last few years,” Ho said. “So in order to really address climate change, we absolutely have to deal with transportation."

Organizers say the Hartford meeting is an opportunity to propose policies to reduce vehicle pollution while building a transportation system that serves all Connecticut residents.

Daniel Gatti, policy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said building the infrastructure for electric vehicles needs to be a top priority.

"Getting widespread electrification not just of our light-duty cars but also heavy-duty vehicles like transit buses, that's going to be the most critical step from an emissions perspective,” Gatti said.

He said electric cars, trucks and buses produce less than half the emissions of conventional internal-combustion vehicles.

Ho added that, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state approach to developing clean transportation systems can serve as a model for other states.

"The states really have an opportunity to continue to move this region but also the country forward,” Ho said; “to find solutions and to show that we can tackle this problem in a way that is both environmentally and economically beneficial."

The next regional listening session will be held on June 6 in Willington, Del. More information is available from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT