• General Assembly Says No To California EV Standards – For Now

    May 7, 2024
    The big three, Looney, Lamont and Ritter

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    “No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session,” said Mark Twain.

    The life, liberty and property of Connecticut residents will be safe after May 8, 2024, when the General Assembly packs it in for the fiscal year. Of course, the General Assembly will reconvene in February, at which time the life, liberty and property of Connecticut citizens once again will be put in jeopardy.

    Some prospective bills never make it from the drawing board. Such was a bill, championed by environmentalists and politicians seeking to make hay from California’s attempt to outlaw the sale of internal combustion engines after 2035. A measure to replicate in Connecticut California’s stringent laws and regulations concerning environmental tidiness has now been put off until the current 2024 elections have concluded.

    “In a surprising move,” the Hartford Courant tells us, “House Speaker Matt Ritter said that the legislature will not vote this year on any legislation pushing for electric cars, a blow to environmentalists.”

    Ritter says he is very sorry about this, but politics is politics. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. This time around, Connecticut’s General Assembly was unwilling to follow California Governor Gavin Newsom down his claustrophobic environmental rabbit hole.

    Newsom, subject to term limits, will be leaving the governor’s office January 4, 2027, and despite his frequent denials, some progressives suspect Newsom might resurface in a reelected Biden administration before his term as governor ends if – polls suggest the “if” may be a stretch – Biden secures reelection to the presidency in 2024.

    Governor Ned Lamont vigorously supports the reprised California effort to force car purchasers in Connecticut, through means fair and foul, to buy electric vehicles. A business man himself, Lamont knows that if the supply of gas powered vehicles is restricted, the buying public will be forced to purchase battery powered – read “made in China” – electric vehicles, even though the product and the distribution system leave much to be desired. There is no such thing as a perfect undeveloped technology, and electric vehicles are both imperfect and prohibitively expensive for all but millionaires who live in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, such as Lamont and the state’s senior U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal.

    Not only have “legislators rejected calls by Gov. Ned Lamont and other Democrats to enact the California emissions standards that would have banned the sale of gasoline-powered cars in Connecticut by 2035,” according to an above the fold, front page story in the Courant, but “now, legislators have also dropped watered-down plans to study the issue after Republicans questioned the potential political makeup of the special task force that had been expected.”

    Concerning the prospective “study,” Ritter commented, “People don’t want to do it. No. People don’t want to do it. … I’m a little disappointed.”

    Senate Republican leader Stephen Harding of Brookfield was not disappointed that the bill failed. Harding commented, “This bill is now thankfully dead, thanks to the thousands of taxpayers who spoke out against it and signed our petition at BanWithNoPlanCT.com. From the start, Republicans knew that this ‘study’ was a clear path to an electric vehicle mandate. This legislation was a ‘roadmap’ for the majority party to launch a full-throttle pursuit of a ban on gas-powered vehicles after Election Day.”

    The stone of stumbling for progressive environmental radicals in Connecticut was public responses robustly opposed to the unpopular bill. It is a bit of a challenge for Connecticut Democrats to present themselves as the party of “democracy” in the face of such ardent proletarian opposition.  Perhaps after the 2024 elections, dominant Democrats in the state’s General Assembly may find a way to tuck the measure into a last minute, largely unread omnibus bill, thus avoiding embarrassing public response disturbances.

    So called “rats” tucked into omnibus bills, and various “commissions” controlled by Democrats that are authorized to spend “off budget” temporary infusions of repurposed federal money are two among many ways of avoiding the embarrassment of growing tax obligations that will create deficits when the “free” money from the Biden administration elapses.

    Where there is a political will and power, two of the most oppressive dangers of a unitary, one-party state, there will always be a way to frustrate the imperatives of democracy, public hearings, and a dissenting minority opposition to measures that elevate the concerns of politicians above the more pressing pedestrian concerns of Connecticut’s proletariat, whose life, liberty and property have suffered grievously at the hands of greedy, politically obsessed, detached politicians.

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    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

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