Connecticut Shelves Transportation Climate Initiative – NBC Connecticut
Supporters of the Transportation Climate Initiative gathered outside the State Capitol on Friday to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that would create a carbon cap on transportation emissions. It will likely increase gasoline taxes – and that’s a point of contention.
“They called it a gasoline tax. It is not a tax on gasoline. They dramatically overstated the cost of the program based on long debunked studies. They raised concerns that this would lead to gas shortages, ”Dykes said.
Despite assurances from Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes, the regional transportation initiative will not go ahead.
“Listen to the young people who call on elected officials to make their future your priority. We cannot wait. There’s no next year, ”Dykes said.
Proceeds from the initiative would have helped fund programs that reduce carbon emissions from transportation.
“It gives us real income,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “This allows us to generate income to provide free bus services on weekends. Get out of these cars to make it easy for this kid to get to the beach, make it easier for you to get to the museum to buy groceries so you don’t have to take two bus stops to get there . ”
But at the end of the day, the initiative was dead. Lawmakers and Lamont said it would not be part of a budget deal.
“It’s always a struggle trying to figure out how to charge for transportation in Connecticut, everyone stands next to me on the bridge but doesn’t always want to pay for it,” Lamont said.
There was no bipartisan support.
“We can talk about next year. I have people who really care and others who don’t, ”Speaker Matt Ritter said.
“The leadership was very clear, really all of the leadership, Republicans and Democrats, saying they didn’t have the votes to do TCI,” Lamont said.
Republicans strongly opposed it.
“Every time the government gets a hold of the people’s wallets, it’s a tax,” Republican Senate Leader Kevin Kelly said.
Minority Parliamentary Leader Vincent Candelora said: “It’s not about environmental policies, it’s about robbing Connecticut residents.”
In the end, the Democrats might not have agreed, but they decided it wouldn’t move forward.
“The bills live another year. Maybe more states will sign the pact, ”Ritter said.