Governor pulls plug on regional climate initiative

Massachusetts has pulled out of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, according to an interest group.

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance issued a statement acknowledging that Gov. Charlie Baker said the state will not be joining the initiative, which the organization called a “gas tax scheme.”

“Since November 2019, MassFiscal and its coalition partners have fought to defeat TCI in all the 12 states considering it, including in Massachusetts,” Paul Diego Craney, spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, said in an email. “We saw a great deal of success defeating it in every other state it was proposed, and we are so pleased to finally see it defeated in Massachusetts.”

The initiative, according to the release, would have included 12 states from Virginia to Maine that would have capped vehicle emissions and would feature future gas tax hikes upon implementation.

“TCI is a regressive gas tax scheme that would have hurt the middle class and the working poor the most,” Craney said. “It’s such wonderful news to see that Massachusetts families will not be forced to endure the economic hardship TCI would have imposed upon them.”

The Boston Herald first reported the state was pulling out of the initiative as Baker told the news outlet TCI was “no longer the best solution.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration always maintained the Commonwealth would only move forward with TCI if multiple states committed, and, as that does not exist, the transportation climate initiative is no longer the best solution for the Commonwealth’s transportation and environmental needs,” Baker press secretary Terry MacCormack said in a statement Thursday, the Herald reported.

Baker’s announcement comes just days after Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said The Constitution State would not be entering into the initiative.

TCI, according to the organization’s website, would require large gasoline and diesel fuel companies to purchase “allowances” as the combustion of their fuels cause air pollution. The group stated allowances would generate $300 million each year, and the number of allowances issued each year would decrease.

This article was originally posted on Governor pulls plug on regional climate initiative

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