News & Updates
May 15, 2020
Acknowledging the extraordinary nature of the COVID-19 emergency and their necessary focus on responding to the pandemic, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) have announced an updated timeline for the policy design process.
The revised schedule anticipates a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the proposed cap-and-invest system to be finalized in fall 2020. At that point, each state will make a decision about signing on to the regional program.
Massachusetts is part of the multi-state Transportation & 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 News Release, Massachusetts joined with eight other states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia) and Washington, D.C., 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 released a framework for the draft regional policy proposal. The proposal addresses reducing greenhouse gas pollution from transportation. The draft is available from the jurisdictions participating in the TCI.
Over the summer and fall of 2019, Massachusetts state agencies held eleven regional workshops to engage with the public and seek input on the draft TCI proposal. Interested individuals and organizations are also encouraged to provide feedback in writing via the online portal on the TCI website.
While the overall goal of TCI 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.
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 this process are to improve transportation, especially in underserved communities, and to reduce carbon emissions as well as other types of air pollution.
A year-long policy development process has included many opportunities for input from stakeholders and the public. Member states are now deciding whether to adopt and implement TCI. The final TCI policy, along with other efforts by Massachusetts to reduce emissions, would help to our state meet the requirements of its 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:
- Executive Office of Energy & 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. It 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.