December 23, 2020. NGVAmerica informed that after a decade-long process, on December 21st the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) released plans to move forward with its proposed program to cut transportation pollution and invest in communities across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The cap and invest plan imposes fees on gasoline and diesel motor fuel use and invests the proceeds to modernize transportation, improve public health and combat climate change.
TCI is an ongoing multi-jurisdictional collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia which seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Collaborating TCI jurisdictions include Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.
Monday’s unveiling included commitments from only three states – Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island – and the District of Columbia to move forward with the proposal. Initially more states had been expected to sign onto the announced agreement.
Of the other eight jurisdictions that have been participating in the TCI process, two states – New Hampshire and Vermont – have indicated they will not participate. The other six states have indicated they will continue to be engaged and may sign on at a later date.
The three committed states and the District of Columbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles by an estimated 26 percent from 2022 to 2032. They also anticipate that fees associated with the program that caps emissions from combusting gasoline and diesel will generate more than $3 billion dollars over ten years that can be spent on advancing cleaner transportation options.
Under the program, gasoline and diesel fuel suppliers must purchase “allowances” to offset pollution. The MOU commits the states to using a minimum of 35 percent of the proceeds to supporting communities that have been underserved by the transportation system and overburdened by pollution. Each jurisdiction implementing the program will determine how best to invest the program proceeds.
NGVAmerica is actively engaged in following the TCI MOU process by participating in online meetings and has submitted formal comments several times.