The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a collaboration of 13 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions, including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. The TCI’s goal is to increase the use of clean transportation and energy, and reduce carbon emissions, in the transportation sector. TCI jurisdictions are in the process of developing a plan to lower carbon emissions from transportation through a cap-and-invest program. Under the TCI plan, states would 1) put a cap on vehicle carbon emissions, which would decrease annually, 2) require large fuel suppliers to purchase allowances for the pollution resulting from their sales, and 3) use the proceeds from the allowances to fund programs that increase clean energy, for example, encouraging the use of bikes and electric vehicles.
States began gathering and considering public input on the TCI plan in October 2019 and will continue throughout November. The TCI plan received heavy backlash from the oil and gas industry. Criticism focused on the predicted consequences of the TCI plan: increased gas prices, minimal environmental impact, and lost jobs. The Pennsylvania Petroleum Association, for example, commented that the plan would be an attempt to get rid of the fuel marketplace, which would place more than ten thousand fuel market jobs in jeopardy. Interestingly, General Motors supported the TCI plan, noting that it could reduce pollution and incentivize electric cars.
In December 2019, TCI will release a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU), along with results models providing estimated emissions and costs for various scenarios depending on the level of the carbon emissions cap. In the spring of 2020, states will decide whether to sign the MOU. If any states sign the MOU, the TCI plan could be implemented in 2022.