“Our Transportation Future” is Encouraged by CT Environmental Committee Vote; Bill Parallels Federal Infrastructure Efforts, Ensuring Improvements for Urban, Suburban and Rural Commuters
WASHINGTON, DC – March 31, 2021 – The Our Transportation Future (OTF) coalition is strongly encouraged by today’s vote on Connecticut’s adoption of the Transportation & Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P). The Connecticut Legislature’s Joint Committee on Environment is expected to approve SB-884 per Governor Lamont’s recommendation and request. Today’s vote follows the December announcement by Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia to join the initial implementation of the program to reduce harmful air-pollution and modernize transportation along the east coast.
Our Transportation Future is committed to ensuring that Connecticut’s participation in the cap-and-invest program includes input from communities that are on the frontline of massive proposed public transportation cuts, harmful air pollution, and devastating climate impacts and to make sure that a significant portion of the funds allocated in the program reach these hardest hit communities. SB-844 includes the creation of an Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Board , and increases the minimum percentage of the funding going to overburdened/underserved communities to 50%. Environmental justice groups helped improve and strengthen this bill. These are two of many elements of the bill meant to ensure equity is achieved through the implementation of the Transportation & Climate Initiative Program.
Our Transportation Future issued the following statement today:
“Today’s vote on (SB-844) Connecticut’s adoption of the TCI Program is an uplifting moment. Leaders across the state, both urban and rural, are bringing Connecticut one giant step closer to providing critical funding for a 21st Century transportation system that will improve our neighborhoods, public health, air quality, and daily commutes.
At the same time the federal government looks to spend trillions on infrastructure, the Connecticut legislature and Gov. Lamont are taking a particularly important step to ensure that Connecticut is at the forefront of an innovative transportation metamorphosis along the east coast.
SB-844 will secure nearly $100 million per year in funding for Connecticut alone which ensures a vastly improved regional transportation system. That means more electric cars and trucks and charging infrastructure, reliable and safe mass transit, walkable and bikeable communities, less congestion and pollution (with an expected reduction of 26% emissions by 2032), and increased investments in projects that connect everyone, including those in both underserved and overburdened urban and rural areas.”
Additional Quotes Below
Recent polling found that nearly 7 in 10 Connecticut voters support the program as a way to grow good-paying jobs and rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the TCI program is expected to save participating states billions of dollars in transportation pollution related health costs over the course of the program’s implementation according to updated modeling released by the Harvard TRECH study.
Our Transportation Future is a coalition of 77 local, regional, and national organizations committed to modernizing transportation across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. 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.
“Connecticut has an opportunity to deliver the clean air and improved transportation options that the state’s residents and businesses deserve. Chronic under-investment—both in marginalized communities and in alternatives to personal vehicles—has resulted in congested roads, inadequate public transit, and neighborhoods lacking access to economic opportunities. At the same time, the imported fossil fuels used to power vehicles remain Connecticut’s greatest contributor to climate change and a major source of the air pollution that disproportionately harms minority residents. It is time to end that toxic combination by passing Senate Bill 884 to advance a modern, equitable, and sustainable transportation future.”
- Amy McLean, Acadia Center Connecticut Director
"Tri-State is thrilled to see the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program move forward in Connecticut," said Lauren Bailey, Director of Climate Policy for Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "Connecticut's emphasis on equity and delivering on our climate commitments is setting pace for the rest of the region. This bill moving forward proves that Connecticut is serious about cutting emissions, providing safe transit opportunities, and creating a state transportation system that works for everyone."
- Lauren Bailey, Director of Climate Policy for Tri-State Transportation Campaign
“Reducing transportation pollution is of paramount importance if we are to meet our climate commitments and protect frontline communities. NECEC applauds the Connecticut General Assembly's Environment Committee for advancing the Transportation and Climate Initiative. TCI will create valuable opportunities to accelerate progress for clean transportation vehicles, systems, and infrastructure by leveraging private capital and innovation.”
- Peter Rothstein, NECEC President
“Businesses are eager to see states invest in clean, modern transportation options that will make it easier for their employees to get around and to transport goods with less pollution and better air quality," said John Carlson, manager of state policy at Ceres. "Ceres applauds Connecticut lawmakers for taking this important next step in adopting the TCI program to drive investments that will revitalize local communities and put people back to work at a time when we need it most.”
- John Carlson, Manager State Policy, CERES
"Connecticut took an important step today by dedicating at least 50% of program proceeds from the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program toward communities disproportionately impacted by transportation pollution and inadequate transportation options. We look forward to continuing to work with agencies and legislators to ensure that these communities can actively shape investment decisions through the Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Board and that the policy addresses air pollution in neighborhoods with the dirtiest air."
- Nicole Wong, Campaign Manager Green for All - [email protected]
“Transport Hartford welcomes the passing of SB-884 by the Environment Committee. This bill will allow our state to implement transformative policies that will help curb the devastating effects of air pollution while addressing transport inequities and climate justice. Transport Hartford notably welcomes the strengthening of the equity provisions of the bill with the increase of minimal investment to underserved and overburdened communities to 50%. As the bill moves forwards the Legislature should continue its dialogue with Environmental Justice groups to improve its equity and environmental justice dimension.”
- Thomas Regan-Lefebvre, Coordinator, Transport Hartford
Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264, [email protected];
OTF members include: A Better City, Acadia Center, Alliance for Business Leadership, Appalachian Mountain Club, Center for Sustainable Energy, Central Maryland Transportation Alliance, Ceres, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Chispa Maryland, Clean Air Council, Clean Water Action, Climate Group, Climate Law and Policy Project, Climate XChange, Connecticut Fund for the Environment / Save the Sound, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, ConnPIRG, East Coast Greenway, Energize Maryland, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), Energize Maryland, Environment America, Environment Connecticut, Environment Massachusetts, Environment Maryland, Environment Maine, Environment New Hampshire, Environment New Jersey, Environment New York, Environment Rhode Island, Environment Virginia, Environmental Advocates of New York, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Greater Prince William Climate Action Network, Green Energy Consumers Alliance, Green For All, Health Care Without Harm, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, Maine Conservation Voters, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Maryland PIRG, Massachusetts Climate Action Network, Massachusetts Public Health Association, MassINC Gateway Cities Innovation Institute, MassPIRG, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), The Nature Conservancy, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, New Jersey Sustainable Business Council, New York League of Conservation Voters, NHPIRG, NJPIRG, Northeast Clean Energy Council, PennEnvironment, Philadelphia Solar Energy Association, Rail Passengers Association, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Save the Sound, Southern Environmental Law Center, Transport Hartford Academy at the Center for Latino Progress, Transportation for America, Transportation for Massachusetts, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. PIRG, Vermont Conservation Voters, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Vermont Natural Resources Council, and 350 MASS for A Better Future.