TRANSPORTATION AND CLIMATE INITIATIVE (TCI)
In December 2020, the governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and the mayor of the District of Columbia signed a final memorandum of understanding to become the first jurisdictions to launch the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI), a multi-state program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest $300 million per year in cleaner transportation choices and healthier communities.
TCI establishes a cap on carbon dioxide emissions from transportation fuels and invests millions of dollars annually to achieve additional benefits through reduced emissions, cleaner transportation, healthier communities, and more resilient infrastructure.
TCI will cut greenhouse gas pollution from motor vehicles in the participating jurisdictions by an estimated 26% from 2022 to 2032, and generate more than $3 billion dollars over ten years for the participating jurisdictions to invest in more equitable, less polluting transportation.
In an accompanying statement, eight additional Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast states, including Vermont, signaled that they will continue to work with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia to develop the details of the regional program while pursuing state-specific initiatives to reduce emissions and provide clean transportation solutions.
In December 2018, nine states and the District of Columbia issued a statement committing to collaborate on designing “…a regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal that would cap and reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels through a cap-and-invest program or other pricing mechanisms… [and]… to complete the policy development process within one year, after which each jurisdiction will decide whether to adopt and implement the policy.”
In 2019, these nine states (along with New York and Maine) started developing a program framework crafted with public feedback and support. This effort culminated in the release of a draft program framework in October and a draft Memorandum of Understanding in December, along with initial projections of the potential economic and public health benefits of a program.
Progress in 2020 was affected by state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic but activities continued including virtual public events focusing on program design and environmental justice and equity.
Vermont will remain engaged in the program development process while continuing to monitor ongoing and expected activity both in Washington D.C. and in-state. This will enable Vermont to inform the ongoing development of the program, so that if in the future Vermont decides to join, the program will match Vermont-specific considerations.
- Peter Walke, Deputy Secretary, Agency of Natural Resources
- Michele Boomhower, Director of Policy, Planning, & Intermodal Development, VTrans
- Riley Allen, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Public Service
- Bruce Bierbaum, Department of Motor Vehicles
- Dan Dutcher, Environmental Policy Manager, VTrans
- Heidi Hales, Director, Air Quality and Climate Division, Agency of Natural Resources
- Marie Horbar, Attorney, VTrans
- Ken Jones, Economic Research Analyst, Agency Commerce and Community Development
- Elle O’Casey, Communications Director, Agency of Natural Resources
- Megan O’Toole, Attorney, Air Quality and Climate Division, Agency of Natural Resources
- Phillip Picotte, Utilities Analyst, Department of Public Service
- Dan Potter, Energy Policy and Program Analyst, Department of Public Service
- Collin Smythe, Environmental Analyst, Air Quality and Climate Division, Agency of Natural Resources
- Brian Woods, Environmental Analyst, Air Quality and Climate Division, Agency of Natural Resources