OTF Newsletter

May 2019, Vol. 20

Colberg, Carlton & McDowell: Regional collaboration key to creating modern transportation system VTDigger, (editorial) May 30, 2019. “In 2016, the transportation sector surpassed the electric power sector to become the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. In fact, the transportation sector is responsible for nearly a third of all U.S. Greenhouse gas emissions — contributing to climate change and air pollution, and exacerbating public health concerns.

…At King Arthur, we believe that we should leave the world cleaner and healthier than we found it. That is why we are taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint. Our mileage reimbursement program encourages employees to carpool and saves 38,258 solo-commuting miles per year. We have also installed electric vehicle charging stations at our Norwich facility, which are powered by on-site solar panels that generate 12,000 kWh per year. Therefore we were pleased to see Gov. Phil Scott announce that Vermont will join eight other states and the District of Columbia this year to collaborate on developing a regional, market-based policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and modernize our transportation system.”

10 Md. Bills Hogan Allowed to Become Law WTOP Radio, Washington, D.C., May 28, 2019. “A bill by State Sen. Clarence K. Lam (D-Howard) and Del. Marc Korman (D-Montgomery) putting into statute Maryland’s membership in the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative, designed to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The Hogan administration had already entered Maryland into the regional alliance, but the legislation essentially solidifies the state’s membership.  …Governor Hogan had well-chosen words for the eight bills he decided to veto, but he was silent on the bills he decided to let through without his signature.  Earlier last week, he let a clean energy measure become law without signing it, but publicized his objections to it and explained his desire to improve upon it in next year’s legislative session.”

Regional Transportation Program Cuts Emissions Through Fees EcoRI News, May 22, 2019. “As Rhode Island moves ahead with renewable-energy initiatives such as offshore wind, planners are moving quickly on a regional initiative to cut greenhouse gases from their biggest sources: cars and trucks.  The state’s transportation sector accounts for 40 percent of climate emissions, according to the Office of Energy Resources. Electricity consumption accounts for 20 percent, and 19 percent comes from heating buildings.  Through the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI), Rhode Island may join 12 states and the District of Columbia in imposing a fee on fuels entering the state to pay for low-emission transportation options such as biking, public transit, and incentives for owning electric vehicles.

The program is modeled on the existing nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, of which Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are members. The program requires fossil-fuel power plants to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions or buy allowances for each ton of carbon emitted. The money from the purchase of the credits eventually works its way back to the state to pay for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects. The details are still being worked out for the TCI program, but as it stands all gasoline and diesel fuel entering the state would be required to buy credits based on each ton of CO2 emitted. That fee could be assessed during shipping, distribution, or at the pump. Initially, at least, jet fuel will be exempt from the program, as gasoline and diesel fuel account for some 80 percent of transportation emissions in Rhode Island. It’s been estimated that the program’s cost to the consumer will be about 10 cents per gallon of fuel.”

Exelon Op-Ed: States drive carbon policy forward by electrifying transportation sector Electric Light & Power / EL&P, (editorial) May 20, 2019. “A number of states are looking to build on RGGI’s success through a first-of-its kind emissions allowance program for transportation, responsible for over 40 percent of carbon emissions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Collaborating through the Transportation Climate Initiative, the states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. New York is actively participating and might officially join later this year.  TCI states could raise a meaningful amount of revenue for investment in clean transportation by requiring wholesale gasoline and diesel distributors to purchase allowances for the embedded emissions of the vehicle fuels they sell in participating states. Even a minimal fee in line with natural price variability would raise a significant amount. As with RGGI, these targeted investments could reduce emissions through investments accelerating deployment of electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure as well as electrifying public transit and other fleets, such as school buses.”


N’east States May ‘Cap and Trade’ Transport Emissions  Streetsblog USA, May 2, 2019. “A new coalition of environmental, business and community groups that launched this week to help localities devise a regional clean transportation initiative and support policy framework for a plan, including the Transportation & Climate Initiative. … ‘”Charging stations for EVs, or creating a dedicated bike lane, what we’re really pushing is to make sure that it’s going to things that are going to mean the most reduction in pollution,”’ Morgan Folger, of Environment America, which is part of the Our Transportation Future consortium leading the effort, told Streetsblog.”


Webinar: Reference Case Assumptions for Policy Program Design Georgetown Climate Center, Transportation & Climate Initiative, May 23, 2019.  “Last week, TCI presented a webinar to discuss modeling methods that TCI states are considering to inform the design of a proposed regional cap and invest program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The purpose of this webinar was to review data inputs and assumptions that may be used for modeling a TCI “reference case,” which is the first step of the modeling process. Participants were invited to ask questions, learn more about this early stage of TCI analysis, and offer suggestions for TCI states to consider.”

Destination: Carbon Zero Environment America campaign, May 2019. “Goal: Make all new cars electric by 2035. Make all buses electric by 2030. Double the number of people who travel on foot, bike or public transit by 2030.”


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