Coalition to develop regional transportation carbon-reduction policy

December 21, 2018

Pennsylvania is among a coalition of nine states and the District of Columbia that will participate in developing a regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal to cap and reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels.

Called the Transportation & Climate Initiative, its goals are to develop a cleaner transportation system that reduces congestion, promotes walking and bicycling, encourages greater use of public transportation, improves air quality and helps communities become more resilient to extreme weather events.

According to TCI, emissions from transportation account for the largest portion of the region’s carbon pollution, and a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that ambitious reductions are needed within the next decade to avoid dangerous impacts to public health, infrastructure and the environment.

The resulting “cap-and-trade” system could look much like the one in California, which began including transportation in its emission reduction program in 2015. That state’s fuel wholesalers are required to purchase emission permits, and the cost is rolled into fuel prices at the pump. The market encourages lower consumption as prices rise.

News accounts say the program has added 11 cents a gallon to the price of gasoline, and could add another 20 cents by 2030. The proceeds from emission permits are invested in low-carbon vehicles, public transportation and other items and programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s far too early to know what this regional cap-and-trade system would cost and how the emission fees would be invested,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “The coalition participants will need to determine the cap levels and the pace of emission reductions, and once the program is established, Pennsylvania’s participation would require legislative approval.”

The other coalition members are Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island,  Vermont and Virginia. For more information about the TCI program, click here.


One Comment on this post.

  1. John Baxter
    December 22, 2018 at 9:38 am
  2. Reducing traffic jams would be a great contributor. crawling in traffic increases fuel consumption much more than most realize, with engine revolutions per mile tripling or more, and the engine also running far less efficiently than at speed. Eliminating traffic jams should be the primary focus. Also, changes made to increase the numbers of people biking and walking can be counter-productive when overly-aggressive Vision Zero approaches like lane eliminating or so-called “road diets” are used. Keep traffic flowing, and carbon emissions will drip precipitously!