Respectfully, Joseph Hoydilla is just not well informed when it comes to the Transportation Climate Initiative. I will not judge his views on climate change but I will judge his solutions to a very real problem.
Has Hoydilla made a comparison between current gas-powered vehicles and fully electric vehicles when it comes to which one is worse for the environment? I do not think he has and neither has anyone in the Connecticut legislature, because if you did, and you did not only look at the fact the electric vehicles are zero emissions, then you would see the production of the batteries needed, where and how is the electricity produced to charge those vehicles, the upgrades needed to almost double the electric grid to handle all this new charging of electric vehicles and the current demand … how all of that construction will have an impact on emissions in our state. The simple answer is no, because if they did they would see it won’t work.
Also, California has already had TCI for seven years now, and guess what? The emissions have increased every single year for those seven years. Not one reduction in emissions and the excuses are flying. Look at the reduction in Connecticut emissions. The data is there from the States Emission Testing Program, and the fact that each year car emissions are getting cleaner and cleaner as that is required by current Federal Law. According to the Federal EPA since the 1970s, starting with the removal of lead in gasoline, vehicle emissions have improved 94% since then. Now, will cleaner-burning fuel and catalytic converters, fossil fuel-powered vehicles are cleaner than ever, and with hybrids vehicles getting even cleaner.
Now, for some facts missing from our elected officials, not all, just some, and I am not going to fall for the Democratic and Republican argument, I am a fact-based voter. Vehicles, specifically cars, are not the main cause of Connecticut’s current emission problem. Mid to large size trucks and power plants producing electricity in the Midwest and then the jet stream sends that polluted air to Connecticut. What would TCI do to fix that main Connecticut emission problem? Nothing!
Another fact, in California they said gasoline prices would only increase over time about $.10 per gallon – the facts $.36 cents per gallon increase and why California currently has the highest gasoline tax in the U.S. and retail gasoline prices hover today around $4.50 per gallon for regular gasoline cash price. Did it lower emissions? -No. In fact, in the first seven years emissions have increased. Did gasoline prices only go up by $.10 per gallon? No: $.36 cents per gallon and heading higher as the credits cost more each year to have the slush fund available to promote electric-powered vehicles and solar power for homes.
Why –if electric and solar power is the way to go and the world is coming to an end — do we need to subsidize industry to get consumers to buy in? Well, could it be because electric-powered vehicles are very expensive to buy and operate compared to gasoline-powered vehicles? Yes! Could it be that electric vehicles have not been around long enough to understand long-term maintenance costs? 100% yes!
The goal seems to be to create a slush fund that legislators can use to pick and chose winners of the future business of Connecticut rather than we the taxpayers getting to pick the winners by supporting what we see and feel is the right direction. California is a great example of the government picking winners and losers by claiming it is to save the environment, but the reality is TCI in California is a big loser on that front and it’s on the taxpayers’ dollar, not investor dollars at risk. After all, when it’s taxpayer dollars and it does not work, they just create another tax and move on — a no-lose situation for the persons who picked the losers — except us taxpayers.
So stop this madness. Learn from the $2 billion taken already from the state’s special transportation fund and not spent on roads and bridges in Connecticut. Enough is enough. Facts over myths!
Michael Fox is Executive Director of the Gasoline and Automotive Service Dealers of America, Inc.