Following a multi-year campaign by a coalition of advocates, governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island and the mayor of Washington DC officially initiated the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a regional pact to cut transportation pollution. Leaders of the signatory jurisdictions said Monday they expect more states to join in the future.
The participating jurisdictions say they will allocate at least 35% of new revenues to environmental justice communities, but some environmental justice advocates criticized TCI for lacking aggressive pollution reduction guarantees in frontline communities, especially communities of color, which are disproportionately located near highways.
The three signatory states account for around three-quarters of all vehicles in New England and 73% of its transportation pollution. The program will officially begin in 2023, giving additional states time to join. The cap-and-trade program for cars and trucks is modeled after the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which began in 2005 with seven states and has now expanded to 10. (AP, New York Times $, Politico Pro $, Hartford Business Journal, Boston Globe $, Boston Herald)