BOSTON, MA – Today, Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts would no longer be pursuing participation in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) program. The program, which would place a declining limit on vehicle pollution and direct proceeds to an array of clean transportation investments, had become a central component of Massachusetts’ strategy to rein in transportation pollution. Now, without that program on the horizon, the Commonwealth will have an even steeper hill to climb as it seeks to achieve its legally binding emissions targets.
While the reversal on TCI is frustrating, stakeholder input on the program should continue to inform the Commonwealth’s next steps. For example, advocates and legislators called on the Baker administration to invest at least 70% of the TCI proceeds in overburdened and underserved communities, with representatives from those communities empowered to influence investment decisions. That commitment to equitable investment in our transportation system must be incorporated into the Baker administration’s planning. Similarly, Massachusetts committed through the TCI process to work with environmental justice communities to advance air quality monitoring programs; that vital work must go on, and the Commonwealth must find a new source of adequate funding.
The TCI program was never intended to be a comprehensive solution to the Commonwealth’s long list of transportation woes. Stubbornly high tailpipe emissions, congested roads, underfunded public transit, and cities with dangerously poor air quality can’t be solved by any single policy. But TCI would have provided a much needed shot in the arm. Now, Massachusetts has one less tool in its bag to meet its climate targets and deliver the clean air and equitable transportation system that the Commonwealth’s residents deserve.
Jordan Stutt, Carbon Programs Director
firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-742-0054 x105
198 Tremont Street, Suite 415, Boston, MA 02111
Acadia Center is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Acadia Center advocates for an equitable clean energy future for Connecticut, tackling regulatory and legislative energy policy, transportation, energy efficiency, beneficial electrification, utility innovation, and renewable energy.