Hartford city council passes resolution supporting Transportation & Climate Initiative

Hartford’s city council on Tuesday night passed a resolution urging the Connecticut state legislature to pass the Transportation & Climate Initiative, a multi-state cap-and-trade program designed to cut Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions while raising revenue to fight climate change.

(C) Kassi Jackson/The Hartford Courant Hartford City Council President Maly Rosado smiles after speaking during the groundbreaking for a new development project on the corner of Park Street and Main Street Tuesday, Aug.

18, 2020, in downtown Hartford. The development NEwhich was strategically placed in order to bring the local neighborhoods together N will feature studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, as well as 23,460 square feet of commercial space, with twenty percent of the units reserved for affordable, workforce housing.

According to the resolution, TCI would “reinvigorate [Hartford’s] economy and improve our city’s public health.” “I am proud of the work the City of Hartford is doing to address climate change, but there is still so much to be done,” Hartford City Council President Maly Rosado said in a statement. “I hope this initiative provides a pathway for further collaboration with other municipalities in the development of a local/regional action plan to meet the immediate needs of residents most impacted by this crisis.”

Hartford’s resolution follows a similar measure passed in West Hartford. City governments in New Haven, Bridgeport and Norwalk are also weighing resolutions in support of TCI, according to the climate advocacy group Save the Sound. TCI, which would effectively charge large gasoline and diesel fuel suppliers for the pollution caused by fuel they sell in Connecticut, is likely to be a key issue in next year’s legislative session, if not in a special session before then.

Advocates, including Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, say the initiative is an important step in mitigating climate change and preparing the region for its impacts. “The time to take dramatic, aggressive action on climate was 40 years ago or 20 years ago or 10 years ago,” Bronin said at a press conference last month. “But all that’s left for us is now, so we’ve got to act now at every level — globally, nationally, statewide and locally.” Conservative opponents of TCI have attempted to brand it as a “gas tax,” noting that it could cause an increase in fuel prices.

Other lawmakers, such as Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney, say they support the aims of TCI but worry it would have a regressive impact, disproportionately impacting lower- and moderate-income drivers. As a result, TCI did not come up for a vote during this year’s legislative session, nor during a special session in September, despite support from many Democratic lawmakers including Gov. Ned Lamont.

Looney said last month that he expects an amended version of TCI to come up for a vote the next time the legislature meets.

Alex Putterman can be reached at [email protected].

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