Transportation climate initiative is the wrong policy at the wrong time

Op Ed in CT Mirror by MTAC President Joe Sculley.

As the 2020 legislative session is about to get underway, Connecticut residents and businesses need to be on the lookout for attempts by the legislature to adopt the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI).

TCI bills itself as a “regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia that seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector.” Those things sound like laudable goals, but they don’t tell nearly the whole story.

The bottom line is that TCI will create a hefty new tax. Some refer to it as a regional carbon tax, others refer to it as a regional gas tax. Connecticut already has two taxes on fuel, and this would be a third. It will drive up the price of gasoline and diesel – on purpose. The goal of policy like this is to make it too expensive for residents to drive cars (or trucks) powered by gasoline or diesel. This is the same idea behind congestion price tolling, which prices drivers off the highway in order to claim that congestion has been reduced. Congestion price tolling has been rejected by the legislature, and the legislature needs to reject the TCI as well.

See the complete Op Ed online.