Misinformation slows CT’s new emission standards
Friday, December 8, 2023
Connecticut lawmakers are reluctant to approve new emission standards that would require 90% cleaner emissions from internal-combustion engines and require carmakers to deliver 100% zero emission vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, by 2035.
However, clean-air advocates say misinformation about how these standards would impact residents is making it difficult to get them passed.
Lori Brown, executive director of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, said most people think it's a ban on gas-powered cars -- when it's not.
"You will be able to drive a gas-powered vehicle for the rest of your life and never have to think about an EV if you don't want to," she said. "What this requires is that any new vehicle, in 2035, and this would all be phased in, all new vehicles must be clean emissions."
Brown believes broadening education about these standards could help turn the tide of public perception. Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection found that 67% of nitrogen-oxide emissions come from transportation.
Brown is convinced the state needs new emissions standards for cars, large trucks and public buses.
Lawmakers are trying to find a compromise to implementing clean-emissions rules, but neighboring states -- such as New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts -- already have them in place.
Tom Swan, executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, said advocates may have to take a non-traditional route in Connecticut.
"The Legislature can revisit the rights if we find that they're not possible to be implemented further down the line," said Swan. "It's important for us to be moving forward at this time and continue on this trajectory."
Attendees of this week's COP-28 talks in the United Arab Emirates were hesitant to establish a firm vehicle-emission standard.
COP-28 president Sultan Al-Jeber said there's no science to support phasing out fossil fuels. Many see this as yet another step in the fossil-fuel industry's climate-change misinformation strategy.
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