Connecticut scraps plan to ban ICE vehicles

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Updated Dec 7, 2023

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont withdrew proposed regulations Tuesday that aligned with California's clean vehicle standards that would have would have banned sales of new fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the state by 2035.

Lamont was facing a lack of legislative support, but state lawmakers are likely to reconsider the issue during the next legislative session next year. 

“The tide is turning as state officials across the country wake up to the reality that California's electric-truck mandates are bad policy that carry serious political consequences," said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. "Technically unachievable standards and unrealistic timelines that set the trucking industry and consumers up for failure are not how we achieve our shared goal of further reducing emissions."

Connecticut joins North Carolina and Maine in walking back plans to outlaw new fossil fuel vehicle sales, each now having realized "blindly following California’s sure-to-fail approach is not the only option," Spear said. "Ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place and allowing for a range of technological solutions to prevail, rather than one-size-fits-all mandates, is how we succeed together on the road to zero emissions."

New Jersey last week announced plans to prohibit the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, joining California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Blocking the block on ICE sales

Legislation that would amend federal law to block attempts to eliminate the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines passed the U.S. House Sept. 14. 

Introduced in March by Rep. John Joyce (R-Pennsylvania), the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act was introduced in response to the California Air Resource Board’s decision to effectively ban the sale of new, internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035. In addition to blocking attempts to ban the sale of traditional engines, it would also restrict the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing any Clean Air Act waivers that would ban the sale or use of new motor vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Having passed the House, the bill has been received in the Senate, read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. 

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]. 
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