Release: Coalition Renews Call for Governors to Reject the TCI
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2020
Contact: Jacob Posik
Director of Communications
Coalition Renews Call for State Governors to Oppose
the Transportation and Climate Initiative
Maine Policy Institute and 17 other organizations urge their respective governors to oppose entering into the Transportation and Climate Initiative
PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Policy Institute sent to Gov. Janet Mills a letter signed by organizations from 12 mid-Atlantic and New England states opposing the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). The TCI is a cap and trade style program that seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions within the transportation sector by drastically increasing the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel.
The letter was also sent to Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Melanie Loyzim and Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note. A copy of the letter can be found here.
The TCI would set an artificial cap on transportation-related carbon emissions and force fuel suppliers to purchase allowances for the carbon emitted by their fuel products. The cost of the allowances would increase regularly, with the intent of discouraging, and eventually eliminating, the use of fossil fuels in the transportation sector.
In effect, the TCI is a carbon tax being implemented through a gas tax, one of the most regressive forms of taxation. The costs imposed on suppliers would be passed onto consumers in the form of increased gas and diesel prices at the pump, hurting low-income Mainers the most. The initiative attempts to force consumers into transitioning to electric vehicles and mass transit options. However, electric vehicles remain unaffordable for the average Maine consumer and the rural character of our state makes this transition impractical.
The TCI released its first memorandum of understanding (MOU) in December 2019 and is set to release its next MOU sometime this fall. States where a legislative vote is required to join the initiative must vote on the matter next year.
The 12 states eligible to join the TCI are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu rejected his state’s membership in the program in December 2019, calling it a “financial boondoggle”, and elected officials in other states have signaled skepticism of the initiative.
“Governor Janet Mills has stated that new gas taxes are not something she wants to ‘glom onto’, but she has not stated definitively whether she intends to enter Maine into the TCI,” said CEO Matthew Gagnon. “Mainers deserve to know what she plans to do this fall when the next MOU is released, and Governor Mills should know that imposing new taxes on Mainers right now would only serve to prolong our economic recovery.”
Maine Policy Institute is one of 18 organizations in the #NoTCITax coalition opposed to the TCI and the participation of their respective states.
Maine Policy Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts detailed and timely research to educate the public, the media, and lawmakers about public policy solutions that advance economic freedom and individual liberty in Maine. Learn more about our work at www.mainepolicy.org.