A coalition of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states as well as the District of Columbia, which are committed to developing a regional clean transportation policy in 2019, have begun holding initial program workshops, soliciting input from stakeholders, residents, businesses, transportation experts, and public health professionals on the development of necessary program policy.
The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), which has been likened to the existing Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) but for transportation fuels, was modeled after existing policies in California, Oregon, and British Columbia.
These policies, such as California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), focus not only on emissions of carbon dioxide but on all green-house gases emitted by the transportation sector, including measuring life cycle emissions to calculate carbon intensity (CI). TCI, however, is not expected to follow these policies precisely.
While the structure of the program is not yet clear, TCI coordinators have indicated a desire to cap and reduce transportation fuel emissions, with revenues from the system reinvested in carbon-reduction technologies and transportation infrastructure.
While this may mirror basic LCFS structure, key details of the program, such as the emissions cap level, the auctioning and reinvesting mechanisms, as well as the categories of entities covered by the program, have yet to be determined.
Program facilitators, including representatives from its 12 member states, have begun hosting technical workshops, including a session held April 30th in Boston, wherein key program design elements, as well as regional cap and invest options, were discussed.
The next meeting, a workshop and round table discussion regarding the transportation priorities of under served and disproportionately affected communities, is scheduled to be held on May 15th in Newark, New Jersey, and is again open to the general public.
An additional technical workshop focusing on low-carbon transportation investments, strategies and outcomes has also been announced, although a date and location for this session has yet to be disclosed.
Developed in December 2018 by founding member states Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, the TCI initiative has since added New York, New Hampshire, Maine, and the District of Columbia as allies in its fight against transportation pollution.