Earth Day is Everyday

State Representative Joe Gresko (D)
121st Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

Friday April 22nt was about celebrating and protecting the Earth, which is something I’m honored to focus on everyday as House Chair of the Environment Committee. The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Invest In Our Planet” because climate change is not only an environmental issue but an increasingly economic one as well.

Locally, I was happy to play a part in investing in our corner of the planet by helping to secure a $37,000 grant earlier this year to replant trees in neighborhoods throughout our town. A green future is a prosperous one. EARTHDAY.ORG offers 52 ways to invest in the planet.

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 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.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 800-842-8267 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

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