More government overreach and unelected bureaucratic power

On Friday, March 24, 2023, the Environment Committee met to vote on a bill that would allow the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to implement a Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) without legislative approval.

If passed, the bill grants DEEP’s commissioner, the authority to adopt regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emission levels. DEEP’s commissioner will be able to make deals with other states and Canadian provinces on emissions programs, as well as increasing the cost of energy by implementing “market-based compliance mechanisms.” In other words, a gas tax that would impact low and middle-income working families and seniors on a fixed income.

DEEP Commissioner Katy Dykes noted in her public testimony that she wants the authority to be “able to adopt and promulgate regulations for programs that we believe are necessary to ensure we are able to meet” the states greenhouse emissions goals.

Peter Brennan of Executive Director of New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association told the committee that the bill is a “power grab by DEEP” and that anything they do with this new power will “raise costs on consumers” without legislative approval. Environmental Justice activists don’t think the bill goes far enough, encouraging lawmakers to include a provision for citizen enforcement of the Global Warming Solutions Act.

The Global Warming Solutions Act, which was passed in 2008, requires Connecticut to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions to at least 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050. The provision would allow residents to take state agencies to court if they are not meeting their obligations.

The Transportation and Climate Initiative was originally a pact between 12 states and the District of Columbia that would have placed a cap on emissions for gasoline producers and distributors, requiring them to purchase carbon allowances. However, only Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and Connecticut signed on. The tax was estimated to cost Connecticut drivers upwards of 17 cents per gallon of gasoline or one billion dollars over 10 years. Connecticut residents are already suffering from the 5th highest energy costs in the country.

The Yankee Institute, along with others worked tirelessly to warn the public about the cost if this bill passed.


CT Taxpayers Coalition wants to continue this momentum.

Make some noise!

Let your voices be heard!

Join us and let’s make the difference together.

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