Transportation, Environment, Business, Public Health Groups Express Support for the Launch of TCI-P

On December 21, 2020, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia announced that they would be the first jurisdictions to launch the Transportation & Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P). Eight other states shared a statement of support. This page includes statements from non-governmental organizations on the TCI-P launch.

Acadia Center 

Daniel Sosland, President

“Through their collaboration on TCI, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will deliver cleaner, fairer and better transportation options for their residents and cleaner air in the most polluted communities, said Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center’s President. “These states are providing the kind of bipartisan leadership on climate change in the region that we all deserve. Acadia Center is committed to advancing a clean energy future that works for everyone, and major improvements in the transportation sector will help achieve this vision.”

 

Jordan Stutt, Carbon Programs Director

The TCI MOU will jumpstart the transition to a clean transportation future. Leadership from Governor Baker, Governor Lamont, Governor Raimondo and Mayor Bowser is critical, not only because of the benefits the program will deliver in their jurisdictions, but because they’re laying the foundation for action at an even greater scale.

Read the full statement from the Acadia Center.

 

Appalachian Mountain Club Georgia Murray, Staff Scientist

“We applaud state leadership in taking this key step to address climate change emissions from the transportation sector. TCI is a significant opportunity to invest in clean transportation in rural and urban areas, improve air quality, and expand healthy active transportation options like biking and walking. A focus on addressing long-standing inequities of emission reduction programs is a must and the Appalachian Mountain Club looks forward to working with states to improve healthy and equitable mobility options across the region."

 

CALSTART John Boesel, President and CEO

“CALSTART applauds today’s announcement of a Transportation and Climate Initiative Memorandum of Understanding signed by Governors Baker, Lamont, and Raimondo and Mayor Bowser and organized by the Georgetown Climate Center. This is a major milestone in the collective effort to rein in transportation sector emissions and invest in equitable climate and mobility solutions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. California has shown the tremendous benefits of capping transportation emissions and investing proceeds from that market into proven clean transportation programs and systems that create good-paying jobs while cleaning the air. Today’s announcement and the leadership shown by Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia demonstrate that the momentum to move beyond petroleum extends beyond California and shows that these jurisdictions are ready to take up the mantle as the next big markets for clean transportation investment. This important state-level commitment will support the growth of the nation’s clean transportation industry, spurring the growth of high quality manufacturing jobs."

 

Ceres Alli Gold Roberts, Director of State Policy

“We welcome the bipartisan support for this new agreement that will help states to tackle the transportation crisis head on,” said Alli Gold Roberts, director of state policy at the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres. “The transportation sector is the largest and fastest growing source of greenhouse emissions in the U.S., and efforts like the Transportation and Climate Initiative will help to not only curb transportation emissions, but revitalize state economies and create new jobs at a time when states need the relief the most.” Read the full statement from Ceres.

 

Climate Group Amy Davidsen, Executive Director, North America

“Tackling transportation emissions is crucial in addressing the climate crisis and getting to a net-zero future. The private sector and states continue to send signals that they want clean vehicles to be the new normal through initiatives such as EV100 and the Under2 Coalition; and additional state policies can move us faster. We applaud these governors who are taking the next step to make clean transportation a reality by signing on to TCI.”

 

East Coast Greenway Alliance Nile Barnes, Deputy Director

“As we look toward recovery in 2021, our nation needs to make visionary infrastructure investments that address climate change and spur strong economic recovery and a healthy, equitable future. The East Coast Greenway Alliance strongly supports TCI for its transformative potential to reduce emissions from the transportation sector by investing in active transportation that allows more people to bike, walk and access transit."

 

Environment America Morgan Folger, Zero Carbon Campaign Director

“Thank you to the governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and the mayor of Washington, D.C. for leading the way to zero-carbon transportation. Our cars, trucks and buses are the region’s largest source of global warming pollution. With this year's record-breaking hurricane season and some of the hottest temperatures on record, it's increasingly clear we need to act fast to stop burning fossil fuels. TCI-P can help provide a better future for our children and grandchildren with better transportation options that rely on clean energy.” Read the full statement from Environment America.

 

Green For All Michelle Romero, National Director of Dream Corps

“We’re pleased that states heard community concerns and chose to heed the advice and expertise of both Green For All and community leaders to develop a stronger, fairer program. Many of our recommendations are incorporated into the agreement and will help ensure historically underserved and pollution-burdened neighborhoods see the benefits they rightfully deserve. The final commitment requires states to track air quality in heavily polluted communities, dedicate funding to clean transportation projects in neighborhoods that need it most, and provides meaningful opportunities for impacted residents to shape what those projects look like where they live. Obviously, there are a lot of details still to work out and to get right. But today’s announcement is a positive sign that the education we’ve done to raise state policy makers’ consciousness around what it means to design antiracist policy is beginning to take hold. We look forward to continuing the work together to deliver a pollution free future for all.” 
 

Natural Resources Defense Council Bruce Ho, Senior Advocate, Climate & Clean Energy Programs

"This is a challenging time for our economy, our health, and our environment. While the TCI program is only one step needed to achieve the clean transportation transformation we need, it is a key step forward by Eastern states and D.C. to invest in communities, create jobs, and put people to work making a better future where everyone breathes cleaner air and has access to affordable convenient transportation." Read the whole statement from Bruce Ho.

 

Northeast Clean Energy Council Peter Rothstein, President

“The Northeast is taking an important step towards a cleaner, more equitable future with the announcement of the TCI Memorandum of Understanding and NECEC applauds the leadership of Governors Baker, Lamont, and Raimondo, and Mayor Bowser," said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. "Reducing transportation pollution is of paramount importance if we are to meet our climate commitments and protect frontline communities. TCI will provide valuable investment opportunities to accelerate progress for economy-growing clean transportation vehicles, systems, and infrastructure by leveraging private capital and innovation.” Read the full statement from NECEC.

 

Our Transportation Future

“Today is an enormous victory for everyone who is tired of the broken and unreliable transportation system in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Governors Baker, Lamont and Raimondo, along with District of Columbia Mayor Bowser, have set a new benchmark in the region, committing to improving the region's transportation options so that they are lower-carbon, more efficient, reliable, and work for everyone. In addition to the states who have officially committed to the program today, OTF is pleased that the rest of the  TCI-member states have committed to remaining at the table and may join in the coming months.

 

The bold and ambitious Transportation & Climate Initiative program is an important step in cutting greenhouse gas pollution from the transportation sector. Still, more will need to be done to reduce pollution at the levels needed to stem the effects of climate change and address historic and current pollution burdens. We look forward to working with states to make the program as strong as possible, especially as it relates to cutting local emissions and improving access to quality transportation options in overburdened and underserved communities.

 

It is encouraging to see that states have listened to their constituents on this issue, where recent polling has found that 7 in 10 East Coast voters support the program as a way to grow good-paying jobs and rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the commitment to direct at least 35% of the proceeds to underserved and overburdened communities and track air quality will help begin to reverse some of the inequities these communities have faced for decades. 

 

Our Transportation Future looks forward to a regional transportation system that will include modern and reliable public transit, electric vehicles, more bikeable and walkable streets, and less congestion, pollution and inequity. This is only the beginning.” Read the full press release from Our Transportation Future.

 

Plug In America Joel Levin, Executive Director

“Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, but the technology exists today to solve this problem. TCI will enable investments in clean transportation options, such as electric vehicles, to reduce and eliminate transportation greenhouse gas emissions. We applaud the bipartisan action to meet this challenge from governors of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, and encourage all of them to adopt the TCI Memorandum of Understanding.”

 

The Nature Conservancy Lynn Scarlett, Chief External Affairs Officer

“Today’s MOU is a significant advancement in the conversation about transportation, our communities, and climate change,” said Lynn Scarlett, Chief External Affairs Officer of The Nature Conservancy. “Across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, communities both urban and rural face health and economic problems connected to transportation. These impacts stem not just from carbon pollution and other tailpipe emissions, but also from issues around lack of options, availability, equity, and accessibility. TCI is more than a financial tool. It is an opportunity for a comprehensive, regional approach to the question of how we get around from place to place, and how we secure a livable future for all our communities and for the planet itself. Emissions from transportation sources are the single biggest contributor to US carbon emissions and addressing them is critical to meeting the challenge of climate change. Ensuring a process going forward that addresses concerns and includes voices of communities exposed to disproportionate levels of vehicle emissions and those that have less access to clean transportation options is particularly important. TCI can be a powerful engine to make positive changes. Our hope is that all relevant jurisdictions will eventually commit to a regional approach, to comprehensive thinking and to equity, and sign on to the MOU.” Read the full statement from The Nature Conservancy.

 

Transportation for America Beth Osborne, Director

“The signatories to this MOU demonstrate today that their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation was not just talk but a true commitment to action. We applaud them for taking a regional approach to clean our transportation system in a way that not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also provides more equitable access to economic opportunity by investing in alternatives to driving.”

 

Union of Concerned Scientists Ken Kimmell, President

“Transportation is the largest source of global warming emissions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, so it’s critical for these state leaders to target it directly,” said Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists and the former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. “These states and DC have shown leadership and vision to launch this program, and I have every reason to expect that other states will see the benefit of regional collaboration and join in. This type of regional cooperation alongside strong federal action can provide a foundation for building back better in the wake of a devastating public health and economic crisis.” Read the full statement from UCS.

 

U.S. PIRG Matt Casale, Environment Campaigns Director

“With this announcement, we're seeing what climate crisis leadership should look like. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., are all not only taking an important step in building a better transportation network for the region but also providing a framework for others to follow. TCI-P is a popular and impactful program that will reduce transportation pollution and improve air quality while helping to give people modern, reliable, affordable and clean options to get where they need to go. By shifting our transportation priorities and implementing policies that reduce the need to drive and electrify buses and cars, we can ensure that the easiest, cheapest and most pleasant ways to travel are also the cleanest and healthiest.” Read the full statement from U.S. PIRG.

 

VEIC Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, Director of Clean Transportation

“We need to transform our transportation system to one that is clean, efficient, and equitable. This regional, collective effort is a great step forward to cap emissions from the transportation sector and invest in viable solutions. We are excited to support this work to identify the most meaningful investments that will reduce GHGs, lower household costs, and improve access to jobs, services and communities. This announcement is a promising start but we have a long way to go. We hope to see more states sign on to the initiative in the coming months.”

 

State, Regional, and Local Statements of Support:

 

Alliance for Clean Energy New York

"NY for TCI, a coalition of over 80 health, transportation, environment, business, and clean energy groups from across New York State, today welcomed the Cuomo Administration’s continued engagement on an ambitious regional initiative to provide better public transportation, more clean vehicles, and healthier communities. In a joint statement with other Eastern states, New York committed to continue discussing and developing the initiative, known as the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a bipartisan effort to address the nation’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions--the transportation sector." Read the full statement from ACE NY.

 

Center for Health Equity Education & Advocacy Dr. Gaurab Basu, Co-Director

"Transportation is the number 1 cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts and nationwide. Climate change is fundamentally a threat to health and health equity. My patients deserve a robust policy that will drive down emissions, stabilize our climate, clear air pollution and protect their health. TCI is an important and significant regional commitment to the clean, healthy and sustainable future that my patients deserve."

 

Ceres Anne Kelly, Vice President of Government Affairs

“We commend Governor Baker for his leadership moving TCI to this critical point in the development process. Major investors and companies have made it clear that they see TCI as a valuable tool to both tackle transportation emissions and revitalize state economies at a time when they need it most. We look forward to continued collaboration with the governor and his peers throughout the region to ensure the program is implemented in a way that benefits all communities, especially those who have suffered on the frontlines of vehicle pollution.”

 

Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Emily Alexander, Climate Policy Advocate

In order to grow our economy, our region needs to be in a position to take advantage of President-Elect Biden’s commitment to ​fund a wide range of infrastructure improvements. CTLCV applauds Governor Lamont for his vision and commitment to TCI which will unlock special funding for critical upgrades in public transit, biking and walking trails, electric vehicle infrastructure and more. The TCI coalition has been working hard to ensure an equitable, forward-thinking transportation initiative that centers on our most vulnerable communities, our environment, and our public health.

 

Environmental League of Massachusetts

Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, President

“TCI utilizes a proven mechanism to protect our environment, stimulate our economy, and improve public health. This agreement demonstrates that climate change need not be a partisan issue nor a point of contention between the business and environmental communities,” said Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts. “COVID-19 has highlighted the serious health consequences of pollution and poor air quality. We applaud Governor Baker for his early and effective leadership in making TCI a reality.”

 

Nancy Goodman, Vice President for Policy

“This is a truly significant moment as MA joins with neighboring states to launch TCI.  The program will reduce harmful climate pollution and help states offer clean and modern transportation choices to residents.  We thank the first adopters and especially our leaders in Massachusetts for their steadfast commitment to the program.” 

Read the full statement from the Environmental League of Massachusetts.

 

Green Energy Consumers Alliance Larry Chretien, Executive Director

“With the climate crisis accelerating and emissions from transportation growing, TCI is an opportunity to advance clean transportation equitably. Let’s target investment in communities that have suffered from decades of fossil fuel pollution and inadequate transportation infrastructure. We’re looking forward to seeing the climate, consumer, and public health benefits of TCI stack up in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

 

Massachusetts Business Roundtable JD Chesloff, Executive Director

“Climate change and transportation infrastructure continue to be important issues for the state’s long-term competitiveness and key tools in addressing racial, health and other societal inequalities,” said JD Chesloff, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. “The potential of TCI to make progress in these areas is encouraging and we look forward to seeing additional details and working with stakeholders to help shape this initiative over the next few years.”

 

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation Eileen McAnneny

“Although the pandemic and addressing the public health and economic fallout from it has to be our top priority, we cannot lose sight of Massachusetts’ long-term transportation and environmental goals. TCI is still an important collaboration for making progress on both that deserves our attention and support,” says Eileen McAnneny, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

 

Mass PIRG Ethan Evans, Transportation Campaign Associate

“The Transportation and Climate Initiative Program is great for Massachusetts, the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic, and the climate as a whole. Transportation remains the biggest culprit in the commonwealth for climate-damaging emissions, and we need to shift our transportation priorities if we are to solve the climate crisis. We need urgent, ambitious action from our leaders, and today we saw what can happen when states work together for a common cause. We are grateful for Governor Baker’s support throughout the policy design process, and we look forward to his continued leadership as states begin to implement TCI-P.” Read the full statement from Mass PIRG.

 

Metropolitan Area Planning Council Rebecca Davis, Deputy Director

“Establishing a multi-state initiative to curb transportation emissions was a key recommendation of Governor Baker's Future of Transportation Commission,” said MAPC Deputy Director Rebecca Davis, a member of the Commission. “Joining the Transportation Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) is the best way for the Commonwealth to tackle transportation's role in carbon emissions, improve air quality in our environmental justice communities and raise revenue for essential investments in a sustainable system." Read the full statement from MAPC.

 

NAIOP Massachusetts Tamara Small, CEO

“NAIOP Massachusetts, The Commercial Real Estate Development Association, recognizes that all sectors of the economy need to work together to reduce carbon emissions. TCI is an innovative tool that will have a measurable impact on the Commonwealth’s goal of net zero by 2050, while also creating a new mechanism for funding transportation infrastructure improvements, which are critical to our economic recovery and climate future,” said Tamara Small, CEO of NAIOP Massachusetts. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Baker-Polito administration as well as a broad coalition of business and environmental groups as this advances.”

 

New York League of Conservation Voters Julie Tighe, President

"The transportation sector is the leading contributor to climate change and we need to act fast to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in our vehicles. We thank the Northeastern states that are moving forward with the Transportation and Climate Initiative program that will increase investments in clean transportation options, slash emissions, and improve air quality in an equitable manner.  There is still more work to do to make the program even more equitable for all, especially communities that disproportionately bear the burden of pollution. That's why we hope that New York will continue to play a role in implementing a just and sustainable program."

 

Save the Bay Jonathan Stone, Executive Director

“The Narragansett Bay region is being hit hard by a rapidly changing climate. Rising seas and increasingly frequent and intense storms are harming habitats, causing damaging flooding along rivers and streams, eroding shorelines and threatening iconic public access points along the Bay,” said Jonathan Stone, Save The Bay Executive Director. “We support Rhode Island’s participation in TCI as a way to further reduce greenhouse emissions. The initiative imposes a declining cap on carbon emissions from the transportation sector and provides an efficient means to incentivize emission reductions. Revenues generated by a modest tax on carbon will be directed toward investments in infrastructure, low-emission vehicles, mobile workforce technology, public transit, and low-income communities hardest hit by chronic air pollution from vehicles.” Read the full statement from Save the Bay.

 

Save the Sound Charles Rothenberger, Climate & Energy Attorney

“We applaud the commitment of the states and D.C. that have worked so hard on the Transportation and Climate Initiative over the last two years, and are grateful for the leadership shown by the governors formally endorsing this critical policy today. Connecticut has long been at the forefront of tackling the growing threat of climate change, and today’s action helps ensure we’ll be able to effectively address our largest source of climate emissions—the transportation sector. Participating in TCI will mean a cleaner and more efficient transportation system, a stronger state economy, and healthier air for our historically most overburdened communities.”

 

Tri-State Transportation Campaign Lauren Bailey, Director of Climate Policy

"Investing in a clean transportation future, starting with public transit, is the best way to reduce the air pollution that is contributing to climate change and COVID-19 deaths. This approach to the short and long term harm from transportation emissions will begin to get our region on track to eliminate this pollution for good. We applaud Connecticut for their leadership and for the other states in our region for staying at the table to make this program reality."

 

Vermont Natural Resources Council Johanna Miller, Climate and Energy Program Director

“We need to radically transform our transportation system to one that is cleaner, more efficient and more equitable, and we need tools in our toolbox to make that possible. TCI offers the most promising opportunity at this pivotal moment – as the climate crisis intensifies and people and our economy struggle under the weight of a global pandemic. We must seize this regional partnership opportunity and implement a program that prioritizes protecting the most vulnerable, disproportionately impacted communities. TCI would take us a significant step forward in reducing the pollution that is diminishing public health and people’s quality of life, and exacerbating economic inequality.”
 

East Coast Greenway Alliance Nile Barnes, Deputy Director

“As we look toward recovery in 2021, our nation needs to make visionary infrastructure investments that address climate change and spur strong economic recovery and a healthy, equitable future. The East Coast Greenway Alliance strongly supports TCI for its transformative potential to reduce emissions from the transportation sector by investing in active transportation that allows more people to bike, walk and access transit."