Setting the Record Straight: Tufts Report Often Cited by Opponents of the Transportation & Climate Initiative Reflects “Something Different Than What TCI-P Has Turned Out to Be”
BOSTON, MA – April 28, 2021 – The author of a widely quoted study about the impact of the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) has acknowledged that the study’s projected increase in gas prices is more than four times higher than the actual increase allowed by TCI-P, a bipartisan effort among Eastern states and Washington, D.C. to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, which is now the leading source of pollution overall, at 40 percent.
“Would I stand behind, in a precise way, the numbers in the report? I would say no. We were modeling something different than what TCI-P has turned out to be,” Evan Horowitz, Director of the Tufts University Center for State Policy Analysis (CSPA), told the Connecticut Examiner.
The Center for State Policy Analysis (CSPA), which offers “rigorous, timely, nonpartisan analysis of live legislative issues and statewide ballot initiatives,” is funded in-part by Emergent Ventures, which is based at the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University, according to DeSmog, a well-respected environmental blog.
"We welcome rigorous and intellectual critique and review of the Transportation and Climate Initiative. We want to see the program implemented in a way where it provides the greatest public benefit possible. But anytime that critique is carried out with oil industry funding, it should raise eyebrows. We shouldn't be putting big oil interests over public health and the climate,” said Matthew Casale, Environment Campaigns Director for U.S. PIRG.
Prior to Horowitz’s backtracking, the CSPA report claimed that TCI-P would raise gas prices by as much as 38 cents in year one. But Horowitz now acknowledges that the actual TCI-P agreement caps the increase at 9 cents, according to the Examiner.
“Polluters and their allies on the extreme-right have been misleading the public about TCI-P for months,” said the Our Transportation Future coalition, of the Our Transportation Future coalition. “The public and policymakers should focus on the actual program being proposed by states, which has strong protections for consumers and many benefits for anyone trying to get from A to B in the Northeast. We’re pleased to see that the Center for State Policy Analysis has corrected the record regarding the potential cost increases that oil and gas distributors may pass on to drivers of gas-powered vehicles”.
TCI-P works by placing a regional cap on the total amount of carbon pollution from tailpipe emissions. Large petroleum companies that sell and distribute motor vehicle fuels in the region would be required to purchase a limited number of allowances to account for the pollution produced by their fuels. Proceeds from the sale of allowances would be sent back to the states to be invested in clean transportation options for consumers and businesses.
Our Transportation Future is a coalition of 77 local, regional, and national organizations committed to modernizing transportation across the Eastern U.S. OTF is focused on improving our transportation system -- the ways we move people and goods in the region – to spur economic growth, make us healthier and safer, clean up the environment, and improve our quality of life.
Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264, [email protected];