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CTLN Opinion+: Katie Dykes

Commissioner of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection addresses the climate issues in the North East

The country is freezing, this week Texas experienced an unexpected snowstorm that left many without power or gas and roads frozen. The northeast is experiencing a frigid winter, and even sunny California is experiencing some cold weather. 

That is all to say we are experiencing the effects of climate change. This week at CTLN Opinion+ we welcomed back Katie Dykes, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), to talk about legislation to aggressively address the climate issues in the North East. 

In December 2020 Governor Ned Lamont, Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, and Mayor Bowser of the District of Columbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing to work to implement the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program. The transportation system is the biggest contributor of pollutants to the environment and TCIP accelerates investments in an equitable, cleaner, and more resilient transportation system. 

The goal of TCI-P is to establish a declining cap on carbon dioxide pollution from gasoline and on-road diesel fuel sold, and require fuel suppliers to purchase allowances auctioned by participating jurisdictions to cover the emissions from the fossil fuel components of that fuel. Once implemented the proceeds are projected to be up to $89 million by 2023. The money will be used for clean transportation and end the reliance on fossil fuels. 

Oftentimes energy alternative solutions are expensive and leave out communities that are most affected, low-income families and communities of color. From our conversation with Commissioner Dykes, environmental equity is a part of the goals of the TCI-P. To make public transportation affordable and clean and lower the prices of electric vehicles. 

Climate change is real and the longer we wait to implement legislation to address the crisis, the longer it will take to reduce the damage.

Resources mentioned in the video: 

For a more in-depth look into the Transportation and Climate Change initiative program. Here is a three-page brief about the program.

For a breakdown of allocation proceeds from TCI-P:

And for more information about the environmental legislation expected in 2021:

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