A controversial bill that would commit the state to further, ambitious greenhouse gas emissions goals, set those goals based on various industry sectors, and provide broad power to attain those goals to the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), passed the Environment Committee in a strict party-line vote on Friday.
House Bill 1145 is a lengthy, technically dense bill that Republicans say would be costly for consumers. Democrats, meanwhile, say the bill is a key component to meeting the state’s climate goals and keeping Connecticut in line with other states in the region and across the country.
“This would be devastating to the people of Connecticut and devastating to our economy that can’t handle the added costs right now,” argued Rep. Pat Callahan (R-New Fairfield). “Renewables are great but we do not have the infrastructure right now and the free market will take care of that.”
Republicans oppose the bill for what seems to be two main reasons: the cost to both industry and consumers and the turning over of broad power to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner. As a unit, they have been calling the bill “TCI on Steroids,” referring to the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), a pre-pandemic bill that would have brought Connecticut into a multi-state coalition to create a carbon marketplace similar to Cap and Trade programs.
TCI failed in the Connecticut legislature and was not implemented by numerous states originally intended to be part of the coalition. Opponents at the time argued that, over the course of the 10-year plan, the bill would greatly increase the cost of fuel. Part of HB 1145 would allow the DEEP Commissioner to enter into similar interstate agreements without legislative approval as a means of lowering the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The bill would also require the commissioner to establish sector-specific emissions goals and would be able to adopt regulations to meet those goals.
During the debate over HB 1145, Republican members of the committee attempted to introduce multiple amendments, some aimed at shifting regulatory power from the DEEP Commissioner to the state legislature. Others were aimed at carving out sectors, specifically agriculture.
“We should not exempt any sector just because we love the farmers,” said Rep. Mary Mushinsky (D-Wallingford) during the debate on the amendment. “We do. But everybody’s gotta play a part in getting us to cleaner air and preventing climate change damage to our state. Even the farmers.”
None of the amendments passed the majority Democrat committee and the final vote to send the bill to the floor of the General Assembly faced the same party-line vote.
“This bill has potentially very negligible benefit to global warming — climate change,” argued Rep. Mark Anderson (R-Granby). “It has potential of greatly increasing consumer costs for food, for electricity, natural gas, heating oil. So, my concern is global cooling, people not being able to afford to heat their houses in the winter. We already saw some of that the last couple winters where costs were way up. This is a hidden, potentially very large, regressive tax that will make Connecticut even more unaffordable with potentially no measurable benefit.”
The bill will now to go the General Assembly where it is sure to face further debate and potential changes.
March 26, 2023 @ 12:10 pm
Climate changer is one of the biggest hoaxes inflicted on the American citizens. Why are you not mentioning HAARP who has been manipulating our weather for years. Also the gentleman who invented the Weather Channel call it out on CNN and said there is no Climate change. Just another way to screw the citizens of Connecticut. When Jim Himes had a meeting for the citizens in Darien, I attended, I handed him a folder with the data and told him that I have been trying for over 8 months to get a meeting with him. He told one of his workers to give me his email address to set one up, I emailed him and nothing. So why do we have taxation without representation?
Free Market Filly
March 27, 2023 @ 4:18 pm
Karen, Jim Himes is not interested in representing you or me……he stands with the leftist Democrats every time. Further, the entire climate hoax has a purpose, and it has nothing to do with climate. The fear mongering about the climate is to get compliance to measures that will destroy capitalism (e.g. abolishing the use of fossil fuels upon which our way of life depends), individual freedom, and the whole of Western civilization. The U.N. and the W.E.F. have made great strides in this goal. Either Jim Himes is unaware of Agenda 30 and the IPCC reports, or he supports them. He needs to be voted out of office, and the Republican running against him is definitely clued in as to what’s going on.