The Transportation and Climate Initiative is a regional agreement designed to cut back greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from transportation. On Sept. 1, among the ballot initiatives certified by Attorney General Maura Healey was one seeking voter approval to roll back TCI.
The proponents of the ballot initiative claim that TCI will hurt consumers. But these claims ignore the myriad benefits that residents across Massachusetts will see as we reduce transportation pollution.
Through TCI, the public would receive significant health benefits such as lower rates of respiratory disease and fewer injuries from car crashes. According to a study done by Harvard University researchers, 1,360 lives could be saved every year in the 12 states considering TCI.
TCI could also play a key role in curbing climate change.
In 2019, the United States transportation system was the nation’s leading source of climate-harming emissions. TCI is expected to reduce emissions from the commonwealth’s transportation sector by up to one-quarter of current levels due to increased fuel efficiencies, vehicle electrification and increased walking, biking and public transportation infrastructure.
The reduction in vehicular emissions from TCI would also help our state reach its climate goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
When assessing TCI, Massachusetts must look at the entire picture beyond spending a few more cents at the pump, to ensure all of the benefits and savings of the program are properly taken into account.