Earth Day 2022

April 22, 2022

The time has come today to "Invest In Our Planet." That is the theme of Earth Day 2022 because climate change is not only an environmental issue but an increasingly economic one as well.

A green future is a prosperous one. EARTHDAY.ORG offers 52 ways to invest in the planet. One of the investments is a community clean-up day.

On Saturday, the City of Waterbury will have a citywide clean-up day organized by Litter Control and Beautification Commission Chair Bonnie Orintas. I will be working with volunteers from the South End Neighborhood Association. Anyone who also wants to volunteer can come to 135 East Liberty St. by 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. 

There are also a number of climate-focused bills before the General Assembly this session that would invest in Connecticut's environment and economy.

HB 5327, An Act Concerning Energy Storage Systems And Electric Distribution System Reliability: HB 5327, a bill that I co-sponsored, passed 141-0 in the House last week, and it helps build out the in-state energy storage industry and encourage future investments, greatly benefitting Connecticut ratepayers. Eversource and United Illuminating will maximize the value of any completed energy storage system through its participation in wholesale electricity and capacity markets. Any net revenues from such participation will be credited to ratepayers to offset the cost of the completed system.

SB 4, An Act Concerning The Connecticut Clean Air Act: SB 4 would expand the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) and make electric bikes eligible for CHEAPR rebates. It would also require state and regional organizations to mitigate the carbon emissions impact of new projects with carbon-reducing projects, including installing electric vehicle charging stations, bikeways and multi-use paths and improving public transit. 

SB 10, An Act Concerning Climate Change Mitigation: SB 10 cements a commitment for Connecticut to transition to a zero-carbon electricity supply by 2040. Clean, zero-carbon electricity is the future of the economy. SB10 offers planning, policies and funding foundations to achieve this goal. Additionally, it would provide businesses with needed certainty for long-term planning and help bring good-paying clean energy jobs to Connecticut.

SB 214, An Act Concerning The Sale Of Electric Vehicles In The State: 38% of Connecticut's greenhouse gas emissions emanate from the transportation sector. More electric vehicles on the roads will decrease emissions and make for cleaner air. SB 214 would allow electric vehicle manufacturers like Telsa to conduct direct-to-consumer sales and bypass the antiquated requirement that auto manufacturers sell their vehicles through the franchise dealership model.

Bold, decisive action is needed — and not just on Earth Day — but every day.