PA Doesn’t Sign On To Transportation & Climate Initiative, But

On December 21, 2020 the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia signed onto a regional MOU to enter into the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI). Pennsylvania did not sign onto the MOU, but was a part of a joint statement to show support in the continued development of the policy.

            That fact marked a critical point in the yearlong campaign by PPA to oppose the proposed multi-state carbon cap and trade program on gasoline and on-road diesel being coordinated by the Georgetown Climate Center. This opposition campaign — NoNewGasTaxPA— included outreach to educate state policymakers as to the serious economic impact such a plan would have on Pennsylvanians.

            TCI’s own projection has been that the carbon tax and invest requirement would likely raise the price of fuel by 17 cents a gallon. A report by Tuft university estimated that cost could approach 38 cents a gallon. The state’s participating in TCI would utilize the proceeds from the cap and trade auction to fund such programs as electric vehicle rebates and infrastructure and mass transit.

            In addition to explaining this impact to key legislative leaders, PPA coordinated a meeting in late October with DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell and members from PennDOT to discuss the industry’s concerns. Direct communication was also made to the Governor.

            PPA past Motor Fuel Committee Chair Don Bowers, and President Mike McCarthy submitted op-eds in key newspapers.

            In a statement after the TCI announcement, PA DEP released a statement that Gov. Wolf still generally supports cap and trade programs. The statement pointed to the Governor’s continuing fight and major focus to have the Commonwealth join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which would establish a cap and trade program on power plant emissions.

            Not having Pennsylvania sign onto the MOU was the primary goal of the PPA’s opposition campaign in 2020. TCI will still require vigilance on the part of PPA in the months ahead. States would still have the option of joining the program in the future.

For more information on the Initiative, visit the Transportation Climate Initiative website.

Please contact Ted Harris–— if you have questions.

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