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3 East Coast states and DC first to participate in TCI-P cap-and-invest program for transportation

The governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and the mayor of the District of Columbia announced that theirs will be the first jurisdictions to launch a new multi-state program that the principals expect will invest some $300 million per year in cleaner transportation choices.

The Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) expects to cut greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles in the region by an estimated 26% from 2022 to 2032, and generate a total of more than $3 billion dollars over ten years for the participating jurisdictions to invest.

In an accompanying statement, eight other Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast states signaled that they will continue to work with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia on the development of the details of the regional program while pursuing state-specific initiatives to reduce emissions and provide clean transportation solutions.

As part of the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia have participated actively in developing the TCI-P and have the opportunity to join the program in the future. If all of the TCI jurisdictions eventually choose to implement the TCI-P, total proceeds available for investment could exceed $2 billion annually.

The TCI-P will work by requiring large gasoline and diesel fuel suppliers to purchase “allowances” for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the combustion of fuels they sell in participating jurisdictions. Auctioning those allowances would generate $300 million every year among the jurisdictions for investments in equitable, less polluting, and more resilient transportation, according to the program. The total number of emission allowances would decline each year, resulting in less transportation pollution. Jurisdictions will independently decide how to invest program proceeds.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia also includes a commitment to dedicate a minimum of 35% of each jurisdiction’s proceeds—an expected $100 million each year in the inaugural jurisdictions combined—to ensure that communities underserved by the transportation system and overburdened by pollution will benefit equitably from clean transportation projects and programs.

To make sure those investments deliver on the equity and environmental justice goals of the program, each jurisdiction will designate an advisory body to identify underserved and overburdened communities, provide guidance for investments, and define goals and metrics for measuring progress. A majority of the members of each advisory body will be people from or representing underserved and overburdened communities.

Each Signatory Jurisdiction will work with communities and with its Equity Advisory Body to assess the equity impacts of the program on an ongoing basis, including by monitoring air quality in communities overburdened by air pollution to ensure the effectiveness of policies and investments, and will ensure transparency by annually reviewing and reporting on program progress. The jurisdictions also commit to continue to work individually and together on additional policies that reduce pollution from transportation and advance shared goals of equity and environmental justice.

If all TCI jurisdictions choose to implement the program, according to a recent Harvard Public Health study, the estimated health benefits could include up to 300 deaths avoided each year and hundreds of childhood asthma cases avoided each year by 2032.

Each jurisdiction implementing TCI-P will determine how to best invest program proceeds depending on their unique needs and goals. Example investments may include:

  • Improving the reliability of public transit;

  • Repairing existing roads and bridges and making transportation infrastructure more resilient to climate change;

  • Expanding high speed internet for rural and low-income communities;

  • Electrifying school buses and transit buses;

  • Providing bus rapid transit and developing new bus routes in suburban and rural communities;

  • Reducing air pollution by electrifying ports and freight facilities;

  • Expanding safe bike lanes, walking trails, and sidewalks;

  • Providing consumer rebates for electric and low-emission vehicles;

  • Developing interstate electric vehicle charging corridors; and

  • Offering incentives for continued telecommuting to reduce congestion.

The TCI-P Memorandum of Understanding grew out of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, and was informed by extensive outreach and input from thousands of people, businesses, and organizations.

The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is an ongoing multi-jurisdictional collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and Southeastern states and the District of Columbia that 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, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.


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