OTF News Releases

MEMBERS OF “OUR TRANSPORTATION FUTURE” COALITION BACK NEW FRAMEWORK FOR TRANSPORTATION & CLIMATE INITIATIVE

Groups Calling for Regional Cap-And-Invest Program to Invest in Modern, Clean Infrastructure and Improving Public Transit React to Proposal for Implementation in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States and Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 1, 2018) – Members of Our Transportation Future – a coalition of 64 leading environmental, scientific, transportation, health, and business organizations advocating in support of a regional clean transportation policy under the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) – reacted this afternoon to a newly proposed TCI framework, just announced by the TCI states and Washington, D.C., moving forward with implementation of the regional clean transportation initiative.

States in TCI are moving the needle today with a new proposal for how the regional cap-and-invest policy will work.  Today’s highly anticipated announcement of the TCI policy framework marks the next big step for the 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states – CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, and VT – and Washington, D.C. that are members of TCI.

Members of Our Transportation Future provided direct comments for OTF’s reaction to this morning’s TCI policy framework:

“Today’s announcement represents a commendable step forward on the path to transforming the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region’s dirty, outdated and harmful transportation system,” said Bruce Ho, senior advocate, Climate & Clean Energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.  “Now the coalition of states and the District of Columbia must follow through with a rock-solid commitment to cut harmful transportation pollution at the scale needed to avert the climate crisis, charge polluters for the pollution they create, and steer proceeds to cleaner transportation options for rural, suburban and urban communities.”

"The Sierra Club applauds the Transportation and Climate Initiative states for working together to accelerate the clean transportation solutions that our communities desperately need and deserve," said the Sierra Club's Eastern Region Deputy Director Mark Kresowik. "We are in a climate crisis and burning motor fuels is the largest source of climate-disrupting pollution regionally and nationally. Now is a time for states to make bold and transformative investments, particularly with and for communities overburdened by pollution and under-resourced for clean transportation opportunities, including setting a strong cap on pollution, expanding access to zero-emission vehicles, providing electric mass transit as an alternative to driving, and investing in safe walking and biking paths to revitalize neighborhoods."  

“Taking on the largest source of air pollution will require bold solutions, and the TCI framework released today offers a solid foundation for a bold, regional cap-and-invest program,” said Jordan Stutt, Carbon Programs Director at Acadia Center. “The TCI states need to build on that foundation by establishing an ambitious cap on emissions—aligned with the latest science—and forward-looking investment approaches to deliver better, cleaner, more equitable transportation options across the region.”

“This announcement is an important milestone in the TCI process. The regional, bi-partisan, market-based program holds great promise and has real momentum thanks to leadership from Governor Baker.  Massachusetts residents deserve a robust and equitable regional agreement that will clean up our air and enable new investments in our transportation system statewide,” said Chris Dempsey, Director of Transportation for Massachusetts.

Ken Kimmell, president, Union of Concerned Scientists said: “Tackling the largest source of pollution in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic is no small feat. The Union of Concerned Scientists applauds the states’ efforts and hopes to see a strong program that not only reduces transportation emissions, but invests in clean solutions that have a direct benefit for those that need it most. Across the region, communities of color breathe 66 percent more transportation air pollution, which translates into disproportionate instances of asthma, heart disease, hospital visits, and missed days of school and work. This new program, along with complementary policies, can help us shape a truly modern, clean, and more equitable transportation future.”

Michelle Romero, national director of Green For All said: “Tailpipe pollution is extremely harmful to human health, and it’s incredible to see Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states step up with a plan to curb these harmful emissions. Earlier this year, Green For All, with local partners, provided guidance and recommendations to states, in hopes they would create a plan that addresses pollution burdens and transit service issues in underserved and disproportionately impacted neighborhoods. If done right, the regional program could help millions of people reach jobs, education, and healthcare more efficiently and affordably.”

Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres said:  "Ceres applauds the region’s leaders for moving forward with efforts to create a market-based program that will help bring about a clean, equitable and efficient transportation system. Investors and companies of all sizes support TCI because they know that modernizing our transportation system is crucial to both mitigate the impacts of climate change and drive economic growth in communities throughout the region."

Nancy Goodman, vice president for policy, Environmental League of Massachusetts: “We are heartened by the broad TCI framework released today.  This effort to price carbon within a region has great promise for addressing emissions from transportation.  Collectively, the states have been working hard to meet the end of year deadline to develop a program and this is a positive step along the way.  We look forward to the next public announcement and urge the states to be bold to match the urgency of the climate crisis.” 

“Transportation emissions are worsening the climate crisis, and it’s about time the region worked together on a solution,” said Amy Laura Cahn, director of Conservation Law Foundation’s Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice program, “But everyone affected needs to have a seat at the table. Environmental justice communities have endured the majority of pollution and lack of healthy transportation options for too long, and they must be the first to see the benefits from a clean transportation system.”

“We need to accelerate the transition to zero-emission cars, and that means getting charging infrastructure on the ground in our communities as soon as possible. With an absence of leadership at the federal level, state and local action is more important than ever,” said Morgan Folger, director of the Clean Car Communities campaign for Environment America. “At the end of the day, nobody wants more pollution, so we should be doing everything we can to make it easier for Americans to drive clean, electric cars.  We look forward to engaging in the TCI with our members and supporting this strong action by these visionary governors.”

Sarah E. Jackson, manager, Climate & Energy Policy, Northeast, The Nature Conservancy said: “The Nature Conservancy applauds the states’ progress on developing a robust, bipartisan regional program to address our most significant source of climate changing emissions. The Transportation and Climate Initiative has the potential to deliver significant economic, environmental, and public health benefits to the entire Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. We are encouraged by this initial framework and hope we will continue to see creative thinking and careful consideration of those who are most impacted by our outdated and fossil fuel-dependent transportation system, including rural residents who often have no alternative but to drive long distances.”

Lauren Bailey, director of climate policy, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said:  “Tri-State Transportation Campaign is glad to see the new Transportation and Climate Initiative guidelines that give our communities the opportunity they deserve to speak on the impacts the policy will have on their lives. Moving forward with TCI means real investments in public transit and clean transportation, especially for communities that have borne the brunt of car pollution for too long. We look forward to important work from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to improve air quality and reduce emissions for our most vulnerable and marginalized citizens.”

"With technology advancing, lifestyles changing, and smart policy ideas bubbling up from cities and states across the country, we can win changes right now in multiple communities and states — to make healthier, safer, cleaner transportation the most convenient, most affordable and most enjoyable option for every trip," said Matt Casale, transportation campaign director, U.S. PIRG. "We applaud the governors of the TCI states for taking the initiative and stepping up as national leaders on clean transportation. We look forward to working with these governors and supporting a strong program that reduces transportation pollution, and sets us up for a healthier, cleaner future."

Sue Ely, clean energy policy advocate & staff attorney, Natural Resources Council of Maine said: “The Transportation Climate Initiative has the potential to provide huge benefits to Maine, including cleaner and more efficient transportation and improved mobility for Maine people, whether they live in Maine’s cities or rural communities. We encourage Governor Mills to take an active role in the next phase of this process to ensure that revenues from the cap-and-invest program accelerate new investments in modern, clean and low-carbon transportation that will improve our health and economic well-being throughout Maine.”

Ed Potosnak, executive director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said: "We applaud Governor Murphy for his continued leadership in addressing the climate crisis by continuing to move forward with the Transportation Climate Initiative.  As TCI moves forward, it will be important for New Jersey to set a strong cap that will clean up our air that routinely receives substandard grades from the American Lung Association, especially in environmental justice communities, and allow for new investments that will modernize and electrify our transportation system statewide."

ABOUT OUR TRANSPORTATION FUTURE (OTF)

Our Transportation Future is a coalition of 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.  An improved transportation system means more clean cars and trucks, more reliable mass transit, more walkable and bikeable communities, and investments that connect everyone, including those in underserved and rural areas.

OTF members include:  A Better City, Acadia Center, Appalachian Mountain Club, Center for Sustainable Energy, Central Maryland Transportation Alliance, Ceres, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Clean Air Council, Clean Water Action, 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, Conservation Law Foundation, 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, Maine 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, NJPIRG, Northeast Clean Energy Council, PennEnvironment, Philadelphia Solar Energy Association, Rail Passengers Association, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Sierra Club, 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.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3266 or pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com.

 


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