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Connecticut withdraws proposed Advanced Clean Cars II regulations

Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont and Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) withdrew from consideration by the state’s Legislative Regulation Review Committee (LRRC) the proposed Advanced Clean Cars II regulations that would have aligned the state with California ZEV regulations. (Earlier post.)

The Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) regulation requires vehicle manufacturers to sell an increasing percentage of new zero-emission light-duty vehicles starting in 2026, reaching 100% new sales by 2035.

The Legislative Regulation Review Committee reviews regulations proposed by state agencies and approves them before regulations are implemented. This position was adopted since all regulations have the force of law, and it is important that regulations do not contravene the legislative intent, or conflict with current state or federal laws, or state or federal constitutions.

Senate Republicans on the LRCC issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s withdrawal of the proposed regulations:

Common sense has prevailed. The Governor’s decision to withdraw the regulations is a reasoned approach to address the growing concerns raised by working and middle class families. Adopting California emission standards which ban the sale of gas-powered cars is a substantial policy shift which must be decided by the General Assembly. There are too many questions regarding the capacity of our electric grid, the cost and location of grid improvements, and the negative impact on urban, rural and working poor families. More than 90% of our pollution comes from outside the control of Connecticut. We need a national—and international—approach to improve our air quality. A state-by-state strategy will only prolong the attainment of cleaner air.

—Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford)

This is a prudent step. The people’s elected representatives are the ones who should be making this decision. Something so life-changing—something that will take our choice away—needs to be decided by the full state legislature. Ask anyone on a Main Street anywhere in Connecticut those questions. They will tell you that they—the people—should get to decide. It should be the people’s choice. The people of Connecticut deserve credit for speaking out. I thank my colleagues on the committee—and the governor—for withdrawing these regulations.

—Sen. John A. Kissel (R-Enfield), the panel’s Co-Chair

Governor Lamont and DEEP announced the proposed regulations in July 2023. The administration withdrew the regulations after concluding that two Senate Democrats on the Regulation Review Committee were prepared to vote with all seven Republicans against the regulations, according to a report in the CT Mirror.

Governor Lamont and Democratic legislative leaders acknowledged their failure to make a convincing case for phasing out sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 and pledged to quickly find a new path forward, according to the report.


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