Democrat Governor Reverses Electric Vehicle Mandate and Surprises Environmental Advocates

( – The small New England states contribute little to atmospheric pollution, yet they often push the most aggressive and unpopular government mandates on “clean” cars and appliances—until reality sets in.

Connecticut’s Democratic Governor Ned Lamont recently backtracked on his heavy-handed mandate to force state residents to buy only electric cars by 2035. Modeled on California’s extreme and likely unworkable mandate, Lamont’s proposal would have banned the sale of gasoline-powered cars in the small coastal state 11 years from now.

As leftist “green” advocates usually do, Lamont announced the proposal four months ago with self-congratulatory language. He said the Electric Vehicle (EV) mandate was an example of “decisive action to meet our climate pollution reduction targets” when he debuted the plan.

Conservatives weren’t buying it, and they didn’t consider themselves part of the implied “we” in Lamont’s phrasing about the state’s pollution targets. “Common sense has prevailed,” said the state’s Senate Republican Leader, Kevin Kelly, when the governor announced the rollback.

The reversal comes after objections from a bipartisan legislative panel, on which Leader Kelly sits. The committee has been chipping away at Lamont’s goal for the past several months, raising questions about the wisdom and practicality of forcing Connecticut residents to buy battery-powered cars through the compulsion of state law.

Skeptics asked questions about the ability of the already strained electric grid to handle the massive increased demand from millions of cars that need charging every night. Was there any plan to make the grid more robust and fortify the required infrastructure? Who would pay for it? What about the sky-high prices of EVs for poor and middle-class families?

Targeting the idea that Connecticut “needed” to make this move to cut pollution, Senate Leader Kelly pointed out that the vast majority of pollution in the U.S. does not come from his tiny New England state. He called Lamont’s proposal unworkable and said drastic government interference in commerce—an outright ban on the sale of gas-powered cars—”must be decided by the General Assembly.”

Even Democrats on the committee, the political wing most favorable to telling consumers what they may and may not buy, balked at the governor’s plan. But predictably, environmental groups erupted with hyperbolic language. Lori Brown head of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, said the committee’s quashing of the proposal was “outrageous” and outside the elected officials’ jurisdiction.

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