OTF Newsletter


A Look at Headlines and Public Announcements on Efforts to Modernize and Share the Benefit of Cleaner Transportation

February 2019, Vol 16

Carbon pricing wouldn’t hurt Vermont’s economy, says long-awaited report VermontDigger, January 22, 2019. “Carbon pricing combined with other climate policies could enable Vermont to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without negatively impacting lower income residents or the state’s economy, according to a new report.

Although the state’s greenhouse gas emissions have been rising in the past few years, emissions are predicted to start declining in coming years without additional policies — but not enough to meet any of the state’s reduction goals, said the consultants.  The pricing policies the consultants looked at were: the ESSEX Plan, the Western Climate Initiative, the Transportation and Climate Initiative, which Vermont joined this December, and a “high carbon price” starting at $60 in 2020.”

Increase Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 18, 2019. “Gov. Tom Wolf’s visionary leadership on climate change and clean energy is big news for both our environment and economy.  His landmark executive order establishing the first statewide goal for reducing CO2 pollution, on the heels of the decision to join the 12-state Transportation and Climate Initiative, demonstrates the governor is serious about building a clean energy future.  As the CEO of a business that manufactures energy efficiency technology in Pittsburgh, I see both of these as critical to Pennsylvania’s economic development. E2’s 2018 Clean Jobs Pennsylvania report found over 86,000 Pennsylvanians across all 67 counties now work in clean energy industries. The governor’s actions send the market signal to investors and clean energy companies like mine that the commonwealth is open for business. The pathway to create more of these good-paying jobs is clear.”

A regional push to clean up cars, trucks and mass transit Richmond Times-Dispatch / Stateline.org, January 17, 2019. “As power plant emissions decline in the Northeast, a group of East Coast states is targeting another source of greenhouse gases: cars, trucks and mass transit.  Governors from Virginia to New Jersey jointly committed last month to develop a plan to cap transportation emissions, likely by charging fuel distributors and using the profits to invest in cleaner alternatives.  They have been spurred by a startling statistic: Transportation produces about 40 percent of carbon emissions in the region, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  The effort isn’t unprecedented: California already has a plan to curb transportation emissions, and many East Coast states are members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Since 2009, the initiative known as “Reggie” has capped the overall carbon dioxide produced by power plants and required plant operators to buy permits for their emissions.  Power plant emissions have fallen by 51 percent in the region since the program began, according to an analysis of RGGI data by the Acadia Center, an environmental nonprofit with offices in five Northeast states. States have used the permit proceeds to weatherize homes and to give consumers rebates on their electric bills. But the region faces significant hurdles in replicating that reduction with transportation emissions.”

Prices Proposed for Carbon Dioxide from Cars Voice of America, January 17, 2019. “Since Donald Trump became president, the federal government has eased back from efforts meant to fight climate change. But the proposal to set a price on vehicle emissions is an example of how states and cities are taking action themselves.  The plan is an idea of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, or TCI. It would likely require fuel suppliers to pay for each ton of carbon dioxide that their products produce. Drivers would likely then pay more for the fuel they buy.  In a statement, TCI said money raised by the program would be used to improve transportation systems and reduce pollution from cars, trucks and buses.  The program could raise $1.5 billion to $6 billion each year, by one estimate.”

Resources / Announcements

Statement: Maryland lawmakers introduce bill to modernize transportation & cut vehicle pollution Sierra Club, Maryland, Press Release, January 24, 2019. “MARYLAND LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE BILL TO MODERNIZE TRANSPORTATION & CUT VEHICLE POLLUTION; General Assembly bill would affirm Governor Hogan’s decision for Maryland to participate in a multi-state transportation climate initiative… Today, Delegate Marc Korman and Senator Clarence Lam introduced the Regional Transportation and Climate Protection Act of 2019. The legislation would allow Maryland to join a multi-state agreement to limit and reduce climate pollution from the transportation sector.  This bill comes after Governor Hogan joined with the Governors of eight other states, (Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia) and Washington D.C. last month to announce their intent to design the details of a regional transportation program by 2019. These member states are part of the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional collaboration focused on reducing pollution from the transportation sector and investing in clean transportation systems like public transit, electric vehicles, and biking and walking infrastructure.”


The “Clean Transportation News Round-up” is a monthly publication from Our Transportation Future (OTF), a coalition of local, regional and national organizations committed to modernizing transportation across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. OTF is working with business and governmental leaders to develop a 21st Century regional transportation system that is cleaner, offers more transportation options and serves the needs of everyone. For more information or to unsubscribe, contact:  [email protected].