© 2022 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Lamont: Multistate Transportation Climate Initiative Will Lead To Better Resident Health

Jason DeCrow

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said the state’s role in the multistate Transportation Climate Initiative will mean better health for residents.

The initiative puts a cap on carbon emissions from gasoline, and requires gas suppliers to buy carbon credits. It would increase the price of gas by 5 cents, starting in 2023.

Lamont defended it against critics of high gas prices.

“There’s gonna be a lot of smokescreens against this bill. And the oil guys don’t like it very much. It’s the right thing to do. All the nonsense that you’ve heard, this can make an enormous difference for our state going forward and I want Connecticut to be a leader,” Lamont said.

Lamont said the initiative will help residents with asthma by lowering pollution in cities and along the I-95 corridor.

“As I looked at COVID over the last year, you could see it march right down the I-95 Metro-North corridor, following major arteries. Those are the very same places in our state that are most likely to be impacted by asthma,” Lamont said.

Asthma is a comorbidity for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island are also part of the initiative. Eight other states — including New York — have signed a statement of support, but aren’t part of the initiative yet.

Senate Republican leader Kevin Kelly said the initiative amounts to a tax that will burden middle-class families, but not address pollution that blows into the state from coal-fired power plants in states like Pennsylvania.

"If struggling Connecticut middle class families are going to be asked to make this financial sacrifice to achieve cleaner air, then states to our west must make the same commitment," he said. "Otherwise, we here in Connecticut would get nothing for our sacrifice."

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.