Government Fleet Top News

Gas Prices Prompting Some Conn. Officials to Rethink Travel

May 21, 2008

HARTFORD, CT – Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a consumer and environmental advocate, has been putting nearly 7,000 miles a month on his state-owned sedan as gas prices top $4 per gallon.

State records show Blumenthal and his driver racked up 69,000 miles over the past 10 months on a state-owned Ford Crown Victoria, the vehicle assigned to nearly all the constitutional officers. Blumenthal travels daily between Hartford and Greenwich, where he lives, and all around Connecticut, according to www.newsday.com.

A day after being questioned by The Associated Press about his state vehicle, Blumenthal said he’s switching to a used, hybrid Honda Civic.

Connecticut provides state-owned vehicles to the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of the state, comptroller and treasurer. Everyone but Gov. M. Jodi Rell uses the Crown Victorias and typically someone drives the officials to and from home, and to various events.

 

Spokesman Christopher Cooper said Rell now spends more than half her time at the official residence to help reduce fuel consumption.

Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, who lives in Stamford, 81 miles by car from Hartford, said he has been cutting back on his trips to the capital city by about 10 to 20 percent and trying to arrange meetings in Southwestern Connecticut. Also, he said he’s using video teleconferences and conference calls to get his work done, such as a recent search for a new transportation commissioner candidate.

 

State Treasurer Denise Nappier, who drove 13,151 miles over the past 10 months in her state car, has asked her staff to consolidate their trips using state vehicles. For example, if an employee needs to travel as part of an investigation into a worker's compensation claim, they’re now look at other open files to see if any trips can be consolidated to one part of the state.

 

 

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