BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – The governor of Massachusetts has pulled the state out of the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI).
The Baker administration said the TCI no longer serves as the best solution for the state’s transportation and environmental needs.
The initiative has received stiff opposition from groups like the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. Spokesperson Paul Craney called the TCI a regressive gas tax scheme that would have specifically hurt the middle class and working poor.
“It’s a win for the motorists in Massachusetts who now don’t have to anticipate the higher fuel cost and the fuel restrictions that come with TCI,” Craney said.
The initiative would have required large gasoline and diesel fuel suppliers to purchase allowances for pollution caused by their products. The total number of these allowances would decline each year, resulting in less transportation pollution.
Governor Baker also said Massachusetts can better reach its climate goals with funds from the American Rescue Plan.
“Incoming federal infrastructure dollars are a welcome down payment as we confront decades of underinvestment in our transportation system,” said Josh Ostroff, Interim Director of Transportation for Massachusetts. “But this influx of federal funding should also raise expectations for timely and decisive leadership by the Governor and the State Legislature.”
With the absence of TCI, Ostroff said the governor and other lawmakers should double down on transportation investments to help “move Massachusetts away from our congested, unhealthy and unreliable transportation status quo.”
Supporters of TCI say it would reduce emissions in Massachusetts by 26% by the year 2032.