During the show, Lamont told host, Dan Newmyer, that he thinks following federal emissions standards, and not California, is a better fit for Connecticut. Lamont also softened his stance regarding an EV mandate.

“It was a question about freedom: ‘You can’t take away my right to drive a gas-powered automobile in 2035.’ I understand that argument.”

~Governor Ned Lamont (D) Connecticut, said during show.

CT Politics TV/ March 19, 2024

Today, as lawmakers in Connecticut’s General Assembly’s Transportation Committee are scheduled to vote on a bill (HB 5485), which would create a council to study zero-emission transportation, and some believe usher in an EV mandate, Governor Ned Lamont weighed in on the issue during a live interview on a popular, Connecticut political show. 

The show called “CT Politics TV” with host Dan Newmyer airs online and has a huge following with political insiders and policy makers. 

During the show, Governor Lamont said he understood the push back over a proposed EV mandate and called for Connecticut to follow the more common-sense, national emissions standards set by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) versus California standards, which call to ban gasoline powered cars in the future. 

To view the clip, click on this link. Look for the interview with Governor Lamont and toggle to 10:58 to hear the following transcript. 

Host Dan Newmyer: The question of whether we adopt the EPA standards from the federal government or the California standards, which I believe you guys are in favor of, what’s your take on that and why not the federal standards instead of the California standards or why the California standards instead of the federal?

Governor Ned Lamont: Yeah, I think, look, it was EVs and hybrids. Obviously, hybrids are very popular, less cost, easier to operate, less expensive to operate, and EVs. EVs got, as you pointed out, everybody charged up, there’s not going to be enough charging stations and, I’d say it’s 11 years. America can do anything in 11 years if we put our mind to it. So, I was more supportive of it. 

But really, I think the bigger issue was less about charging stations and plans and the grid. I think we could manage all that. It was a question about freedom: You can’t take away my right to drive a gas-powered automobile in 2035. I understand that argument. I said we’re not taking away. We’re still going to have hybrid cars and such. I thought, boy, we went through this with Jerry Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan when we told everybody you can’t drive that big, eight-cylinder, lead gasoline gas guzzler anymore. Remember we got the more vehicles back then. 

But this is a different day and age. And I think, Dan, maybe coming out of COVID and vaccines and masks, they’re always saying: get off my back. We’ll manage this. So I think you’re probably right. I think we’re going to end up going to the federal standards. Oh, as a business guy, I didn’t like that saying just two years ago, let’s go with the EV and hybrid standards. We told the business community that, GM and Ford made investments. Then I don’t like the politicians say, never mind, I got a bunch of texts and emails. That herky jerky regulation is no good at all. But I think we’re going to end up with the federal regulations. And I think that’ll be pretty good for now.

Statement by Chris Herb:

 “We’ve said all along that the California regulations are too much too soon. They call for achieving zero-emissions and banning gasoline-powered cars. The EPA standards take a more common-sense approach and are more realistic. They allow for more hybrids and it doesn’t go to full zero-emissions vehicles. We believe it’s more responsible and we should be working with the rest of the country, and not just California, on this. We applaud Governor Lamont for taking this stance. We call on state lawmakers to follow his lead and do the right thing for Connecticut residents who overwhelmingly do not support an EV mandate and a ban on future sales of gasoline powered cars.”

~ Chris Herb, CEO and President of Connecticut Energy Marketers Association (CEMA)