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New Transportation Policy Big Win for Connecticut

Electrifying passenger vehicles and buses will improve air quality and reduce operating costs for vehicle owners and taxpayers. (baranq/Adobe Stock)
Electrifying passenger vehicles and buses will improve air quality and reduce operating costs for vehicle owners and taxpayers. (baranq/Adobe Stock)
August 15, 2019

HARTFORD, Conn. – A new analysis says Connecticut could see major gains from a new approach to transportation.

The report from the Acadia Center shows that a well-designed transportation cap-and-invest policy could help the state put more than $2.7 billion into clean transportation by 2030, generating more than 23,000 jobs and $7 billion in economic activity.

Like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that generates funds to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) would auction pollution credits linked to wholesale transportation fuels.

According to Amy McLean Salls, the Acadia Center's Connecticut director, transportation accounts for 40% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions.

"By reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and putting money into clean transportation infrastructure, we would be addressing some of the most egregious problems regarding greenhouse gas emissions which have to be reduced for the state to meet its climate goals," she states.

So far, nine states and the District of Columbia have signed on to the Transportation and Climate Initiative.

McLean Salls says details of the policy are still being worked out on both the state and regional levels, including where the funds generated by the cap-and-invest plan should go.

"Should they go to the environmental justice communities where the most egregious pollution from transportation is happening?” she asks. “Electrifying the state's fleet of buses is a priority."

The analysis showed that by 2030 the TCI funds would allow Connecticut to invest in 170,000 electric vehicles and their associated charging infrastructure.

Connecticut joined the Initiative in 2018 and full implementation should take place in the next two or three years.

McLean Salls notes that the state already is hard at work to make it a reality.

"The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is actively working on a plan,” she points out. “The stakeholders in the community around the state also are involved."

The full report is online at Acadiacenter.org.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT