Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is defending the state’s decision to join a new regional green transportation initiative. Critics say it’ll drive up gas prices in the state.
The initiative puts caps on carbon emissions from gasoline, and requires gas suppliers to buy carbon credits. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia are also part of the initiative.
Proponents say it’ll bring in more than $100 million a year by 2032 — and the state plans to reinvest that in cleaner options, like public transportation.
Lamont said it’s up to fuel wholesalers to avoid passing costs on to towns, consumers and middlemen.
“There’s an assumption the wholesalers will push all that cost onto drivers, which is not necessarily true. The price is set by the market. We’ll see where they want to be there. And I need the naysayers to give me other solutions for our transportation fund,” Lamont said.
Katie Dykes is commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. She dismissed critics who call the initiative a gas tax.
“It’s time for the misinformation campaigns that have been served by the oil industry for decades to come to an end so we can cut through these politics and actually advance affordable technologies and investments that will help lessen the burden of the climate crisis on the people of this state,” Dykes said.
Eight other states — including New York — have not yet joined the initiative, but signed a statement of support.