Even Massachusetts Is Giving Up on TCI!

February 27, 2020

by Rob Roper

Throughout the debate over The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), the convoluted scheme to squeeze up to $5.6 billion out of New England and Mid Atlantic state drivers under the thin façade that it’s really not a Carbon Tax, the one never-wavering cheerleader for the idea was Massachusetts. Not anymore.

According to Commonwealth Magazine, the $600 million transportation bill just put forward counts on zero revenues from TCI. House Speaker Robert DeLeo “called the future of TCI ‘very iffy,’ noting that no other state has committed to it. ‘It does not appear the TCI concept is catching on as we’d hoped it would.’”

Additionally, Chris Dempsey, director of the advocacy group Transportation for Massachusetts, lamented, “We think TCI has the potential to be a transformational policy, and the House language seems to diminish the potential importance and value of TCI….”

This realization that drivers (who vote) throughout the eleven remaining states still at the TCI table have no interest in paying and extra 17¢ a gallon for gasoline and diesel shouldn’t be a shocker. New Hampshire has already declared it has no intention of ever participating in what Gov. Chris Sununu called “a boondoggle,” and Virginia, a big fish in this pond, declared it has no intention of participating at this time.

Perhaps it’s time to put this sad concept out of its misery once and for all.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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