Massachusetts is part of the multi-state Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), which is working to build a regional program that would cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and invest the proceeds in a cleaner, more resilient, and more equitable low-carbon transportation system.
In a December 2018 Press Release, Massachusetts joined with eight states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia) and Washington, DC in a new effort to develop a regional policy for low-carbon transportation. As part of the effort, the jurisdictions issued a statement describing the goal of their collaboration to:
“…design 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 mechanism… [and]… to complete the policy development process within one year, after which each jurisdiction will decide whether to adopt and implement the policy.”
TCI Draft Framework
TCI has released the framework for a draft regional policy proposal. The proposal addresses reducing greenhouse gas pollution from transportation. The draft is available from the jurisdictions participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI).
Over the summer of 2019, Massachusetts state agencies held six regional workshops to ask you what you hoped to see in the TCI proposal. We will continue these workshops in the Fall, to ask for your thoughts and suggestions on the newly-released draft framework for this regional program.
While the overall goal is to reduce the far-reaching climate impacts of vehicles and fuels, Massachusetts is particularly focused on delivering benefits to communities that are under-served by current transportation options and disproportionately burdened by pollution.
Interested individuals and organizations are also encouraged to provide feedback in writing using the online portal on the TCI website. Feedback on the draft framework is most helpful if received by November 5 through the online portal.
Policy Design Process
The states participating in TCI’s regional policy design process are studying options to reduce carbon emissions through a “cap-and-invest” program or other mechanism that establishes a price for transportation emissions. The goals of the process are to improve transportation, especially in underserved communities, and to reduce carbon emissions as well as other types of air pollution. The year-long policy development process includes many opportunities for input from stakeholders and the public. Once completed, each member state will decide whether to adopt and implement the policy. The final TCI policy, along with other efforts of the Commonwealth to reduce emissions, would help to meet requirements of the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act.
TCI’s regional policy design process is facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center on behalf of the participating jurisdictions. Massachusetts agencies supporting the process are:
- Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
- Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)
- Department of Transportation (MassDOT)
TCI Fact Sheet
The TCI Fact Sheet provides an overview of the regional greenhouse challenges and opportunities. The Fact Sheet also shares information from public input sessions across participating states, and a summary of the regional policy development process.
Cap-and-invest is a policy tool that has been used in the United States and around the world to limit the total amount of emissions from an industry or the whole economy. This document provides an outline of the cap-and-invest program and the policy design process.