An interstate carbon tax agreement promoted as having 13 mid-Atlantic and Northeastern members seems shaky after the Connecticut legislature snubbed the thought in September, leaving as the solely dedicated jurisdictions the District of Columbia and Massachusetts, although the Bay State faces a potential ballot initiative towards it.

While officers from 10 different states have been in discussions to enter the Transportation and Climate Initiative, or TCI, solely then-Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont joined D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in signing a memorandum of understanding in December to implement the plan.

The cap-and-trade initiative would require car fuel suppliers in collaborating jurisdictions to purchase power allowances for CO2 emissions. The quantity of allowances on the market will lower every year, which means gas suppliers pays extra every year for emissions.


Proponents say this can reduce greenhouse gasoline emissions by 26%from 2022 by means of 2032, and produce $3 billion in revenue for the subsequent decade. Opponents say it’s going to drive up gas costs for shoppers and is a regressive gas tax. With regards to a regressive tax, proponents contend that signatories would dedicate at the very least 35% of income to transportation wants in underserved communities.

Baker, a Republican, unilaterally entered the agreement underneath the Bay State’s legislation requiring emission reductions. The different two New England states, each with Democratic governors, require legislative approval to seal the deal, and lawmakers in every state balked.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

The thought was launched in 2010 when environmental officers of those jurisdictions, in addition to  Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont, signed onto a “declaration of intent,” although circuitously committing to actions. Environmental officers from North Carolina and Virginia later introduced help with out making commitments.

“It’s fair to say TCI is having a hard time getting off the ground. However, the program was designed to be basically like a zombie. It dies and comes back to life,” Paul Craney, spokesman and board member for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, which opposes the agreement, informed Fox News.


“It was first rolled out that a dozen states were doing it, saying everyone is going to have shared pain for environmental benefit because you’ve got some big states mixed in there,” Craney added. “Then we learned in December, it was three states. Now it’s one that is fully committed.” 

If Massachusetts totally enters the agreement by 2023 as scheduled, about 80,000 autos in the state won’t have sufficient gas by 2025, based on an analysisby the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance Foundation in August. To keep away from a main gas scarcity later, the evaluation says, Massachusetts drivers would now need to swap their gas-powered car for {an electrical} car at a charge of about 2,000 electrical autos per 30 days. But solely about 2,000 electrical autos had been offered in Massachusetts throughout the whole calendar 12 months of 2020. 

Transportation for Massachusetts, a coalition of Massachusetts environmental teams, opposes the poll initiative to depart the agreement. 

“The ballot question proposed by TCI opponents threatens our environment, our health, and our transportation. But that’s not all,” the group says in a assertion. “This poorly drafted, overly broad petition could threaten any policy or revenue source designed to eliminate pollution from transportation. That includes both existing revenue sources and potential future policies which benefit families and communities most burdened by transportation pollution.” 


In neighboring Vermont, Republican Gov. Phil Scott expressed skepticism in August throughout a Zoom assembly of the New England Council.  

“I wasn’t seeing how this could work for Vermont and I am not convinced today that it works for Vermont,” Scott said, later including, “I feel good about the direction we are going without the need to raise taxes and certainly not a regressive carbon tax.” 

Although the Rhode Island legislature recessed this summer season without adopting the TCI, the Senate handed the measure with out House help, and present Gov. Daniel McKee, a Democrat, is “totally committed” to the agreement entered by his predecessor, mentioned Mike Healy, a spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.  

“Governor McKee supports efforts under TCI to address climate change and improve public health, and is actively in conversations with Governors Lamont and Baker on this initiative,” Healey informed Fox News in a assertion.  


“The Department of Environmental Management continues to engage legislators, environmental and equity advocates, and other stakeholders to discuss the benefits of TCI and why putting the brakes on air pollution and accelerating innovation in cleaner transit and healthier communities are so important to Rhode Island,” Healy continued. “We are very hopeful that both houses of the legislature will take the issue up early in the 2022 session, pass the bill, and present it to the governor for signature.”