Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance released a coalition letter signed from organizations of 12 Mid Atlantic and New England states opposed to the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI).
A copy of the letter may be found by clicking here.
TCI is a cap and trade proposal for the transportation sector that seeks to reduce the amount of vehicle fuel being sold into the region by drastically increasing the cost. For the consumer, TCI would act as a tax for diesel and gasoline fuels.
The states that are currently eligible to join TCI are Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and the District of Columbia. When TCI released its first memo of understanding in December 2019, they outlined how much they would raise gasoline fuel prices, but declined to disclose how much they sought to raise diesel prices. Almost all eligible states have seen at least one branch of government indicate they opposed joining the TCI scheme for the foreseeable future and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu flat out rejected membership in the program for his state, referring to it as a “boondoggle.” TCI is expected to release their next MOU sometime this “fall” and states that wish to join TCI and need a legislative vote are required to vote next year.
“Today’s letter is being released two weeks from the election. The letter was emailed to every member of the Massachusetts legislature and to Governor Baker. Voters should contact candidates seeking office to let them know how they feel about TCI and candidates should make their position clear in opposition,” said Paul D. Craney, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
A group of bi-partisan lawmakers have also sponsored a bill that would require Governor Baker to seek explicit legislative approval before entering Massachusetts into the multi-state gasoline and diesel tax scheme.
“Before the pandemic, Governor Baker was TCI’s biggest cheerleader in all the 11 states that remained. The Governor described TCI has a regional approach to raising fuel costs. Since the pandemic hit, our state’s economy has declined, and unemployment reached record highs. The future of the Massachusetts economic recovery is in jeopardy if anti-businesses schemes like this are allowed to go into effect,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesman of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“This is not the right time for costly, feel good measures that deliver negligible environmental benefits. To achieve these negligible benefits, TCI purposely seeks to make driving and carrying out routine activities significantly more expensive. TCI is a regressive tax that will put strain on working class people to subsidize electric vehicles that only the wealthiest among us can afford,” continued Craney. “Removing Massachusetts from consideration of TCI is something State House leaders can and should do immediately to help keep costs down for small businesses and working people. By removing Massachusetts from entering the scheme, we will be helping with the economic recovery that is so desperately needed right now.”
“Voters should demand and candidates should gladly speak out against TCI before they head to the polls in two weeks,” concluded Craney.