Groups Push For “Strong Safeguards and Guarantees for Overburdened and Underserved Communities” in 12 TCI States & DC; Need for State Leadership Seen As U.S. Formally Abandons Paris Climate Agreement.
WASHINGTON, DC – November 12, 2020 – The largest and most diverse collection ever of health, community, business, transportation, environmental and other groups have come out strongly in favor of a Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) that helps erase the “deeply inequitable” aspects of the current transportation system in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. The extraordinary 200-group letter lays out “strong safeguards and guarantees” for ensuring underserved and overburdened communities become key beneficiaries of the proposed Transportation and Climate Initiative cap-and-invest program to modernize transportation in the region when the final memorandum of understanding (MOU) committing to the TCI program is released by participating states in the next few weeks.
Amid growing signs of the need for state leadership in the wake of the United States formally leaving the Paris Climate Agreement, the letter from the large number of organizations is addressed to the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia and the mayor of Washington, D.C. TCI envisions an improved regional transportation system would mean more reliable and accessible mass transit; more clean electric buses, cars and trucks and charging infrastructure; more walkable and bikeable communities; less congestion and pollution; and increased investments in projects that connect everyone, including those in underserved urban, suburban, and rural areas.
The joint letter calls for states to adopt a TCI program that achieves these outcomes by including the following:
- A strong carbon pollution cap, requiring at a minimum a 25 percent reduction in transportation carbon pollution over the next decade.
- A commitment to prioritize and dedicate significant program spending to address the needs of overburdened and underserved communities. The 35 percent funding commitment proposed by states for overburdened and underserved communities is an absolute minimum, and individual states should commit to investing significantly more in these communities.
- Equity Advisory Bodies that are representative of each state’s overburdened and underserved communities and have clear decision-making roles.
- Commitments to achieve emissions reductions in overburdened communities and full transparency and reporting on program spending and emissions and equity outcomes.
- Commitment to strong labor and workforce development standards and a just transition.
The letter from the 200 groups also notes: “A TCI cap-and-invest program alone will not solve these problems, and it cannot and must not be our only response. A well-designed TCI program, however, with strong safeguards and guarantees will move us forward by investing billions of job-creating dollars in clean and equitable transportation. Those investments combined with a legally binding limit on transportation carbon pollution will hold the oil industry accountable.”
The alphabetical list of the 200 groups signing the letter reads as follows: 350 DC, 350 Maine, 350 Mass for a Better Future, 350 New Hampshire, 350 Rhode Island, A Better City, A Climate to Thrive, Acadia Center, Active Prince William, Adirondack North Country Association, Advanced Energy Economy, Alliance for Business Leadership, Alliance for Clean Energy New York, AlphaStruxure, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1336, American Lung Association, Appalachian Mountain Club, Ashford Clean Energy Task Force, Aztech Geothermal, Bedford 2030, Beverly Human Rights Committee, Beyond Extreme Energy, Bike Walk CT, CALSTART, Capital Region EV Drivers, CASA (Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia), Center for an Ecology-Based Economy, Center For Climate Change Communication, George Mason University, Center for Climate Communities (C3), Center for Sustainable Communities, Center for Sustainable Energy, Central Maryland Transportation Alliance, Ceres, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Chispa Maryland, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Citizens for Local Power, Citizens for Regional Transit, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Prince William County VA Chapter, Citizens' Climate Lobby, Rhode Island Chapter, Clean Air Council, Clean Energy Advisory Committee of Beverly, Climate Action Now, Western Massachusetts, Climate Change Awareness & Action, Climate Group, Climate Law & Policy Project, Climate Reality New York Chapters Coalition, Climate Smart Kingston Commission, Climate Solutions Accelerator of the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region, Climate XChange, Coastal Enterprises, Inc, ColorBrightonGreen.org, Concerned Health Professionals of NY, Connecticut ATU Legislative Council, Connecticut Commuter Rail Council, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, ConnPIRG, Dandelion, Delaware Electric Vehicle Association, Drive Electric Long Island, Drive Electric RVA, E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), EarthKind Energy, East Coast Greenway Alliance, Elected Officials to Protect America, Electric Auto Association, Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington, DC (EVADC), Emerald Alternative Energy Solutions, Inc., Environment America, Environment Connecticut, Environment Maine, Environment Maryland, Environment Massachusetts, Environment New Hampshire, Environment New Jersey, Environment New York, Environment Rhode Island, Environment Virginia, Environmental Health Strategy Center, Environmental League of Massachusetts, EV Club of Connecticut, Evangelical Environmental Network, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, Farmingdale State College, FLxDER Inc., Frack Action, Friends of Casco Bay, Gateway Cities Innovation Institute at MassINC, Generation180, Get Your GreenBack Tompkins, Gobike Buffalo, Greater Prince William Climate Action Network, Green Energy Consumers Alliance, Green For All, GreenFaith, Groundwork Rhode Island, Grow Smart RI, Harford County Climate Action, Health Care Without Harm, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc., Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, Isles, League of Women Voters of Delaware, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, League of Women Voters of New York State, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, League of Women Voters of Vermont, Longwood Energy Group, Maine Audubon, Maine Conservation Voters, Maine Youth for Climate Justice, Maryland Conservation Council, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Maryland Legislative Coalition, Maryland PIRG, Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light, MassBike, MassPIRG, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Mothers Out Front Massachusetts, Mothers Out Front Virginia, National Fisheries Conservation Center, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Natural Resources Defense Council, NECEC, Network for a Sustainable Tomorrow (NEST), New Haven Climate Movement, New Jersey Future, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, New Jersey Sustainable Business Council, New Paltz Climate Action Coalition, New York League of Conservation Voters, New York Solar Energy Society, New York Sustainable Business Council, New Yorkers for Clean Power, NHPIRG, NJPIRG, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, NY for TCI, Old Colony Planning Council, PennEnvironment, PennPIRG, Philadelphia Solar Energy Association, Philly Transit Riders Union, Physicians for Social Responsibility New York, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, Pittsburghers for Public Transit, Plug in America, POWER: An Interfaith Movement, Rail Passengers Association, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Regional Plan Association, Renewable Energy & Sustainability Center at Farmingdale State College, Renewable Energy Long Island, RESTORE: The North Woods, Rhode Island Center for Justice, Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, RI Transit Riders, Riders Alliance, RIPIRG, RUPCO, Save the Sound, Schneider Electric, Solar United Neighbors of DC, Solar United Neighbors of Maryland, Solar United Neighbors of Pennsylvania, Southern Environmental Law Center, Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, SunCommon, Sustainable Hudson Valley, Sustainable Westchester, Transit Choices, TransitCenter, Transport Hartford Academy at the Center for Latino Progress, Transportation for America, Transportation for Massachusetts, Transportation for Vermonters, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, U.S. Green Building Council - Long Island Chapter, U.S. Green Building Council Rhode Island, U.S. PIRG, Union of Concerned Scientists, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland, VEIC, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Vermont Climate and Health Alliance, Vermont Conservation Voters, Vermont Interfaith Power and Light, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont PIRG, Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action , Virginia Conservation Network, Virginia Organizing, Walk Boston, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Working for Justice Ministry, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, and YSG Solar.
Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264 or [email protected]