Bipartisan Coalition Wants To Repeal Transportation and Climate Initiative Carbon Fee On Gas and Diesel

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In 2014, Bay State voters voted to tank the gas tax.

Could they do the same in 2022?

Back in 2014, 53 percent of Massachusetts voters supported a measure that repealed an automatic gas tax hike. In 2013, the Massachusetts Legislature and then-governor Deval Patrick enacted a measure that indexed the gas tax to inflation, allowing the tax to increase each year without any additional votes from the state legislature. Now, a coalition that includes members of both major political parties in the state wants to repeal a measure that would make gasoline and diesel more expensive.

The group, led by state Representative Dave DeCoste (R-Norwell), filed a ballot question with state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office on Wednesday in hopes of repealing the Transportation and Climate Initiative. The initiative is a proposed interstate compact that would charge a carbon fee on fuel providers. That funding is supposed to pay for improvements to public transportation, in order to reduce the number of cars on the road and therefore reduce carbon emissions.

The Transportation and Climate Initiative carbon fee, which is supported by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, and by Democratic leaders in the state Legislature, would make gas and diesel more expensive.

How much?

Estimates vary.

It could increase the price of a gallon of gasoline and diesel by as little as 5 cents per gallon, or by as much as 18 cents per gallon of gasoline and 35 cents per gallon of on-road diesel, according to various estimates issued by experts.

Supporters of junking the carbon fee on fuel include a pair of state representatives, Nick Boldyga (R-Southwick) and Colleen Garry (D-Dracut), as well as Republican candidate for governor Geoff Diehl and Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance spokesman Paul Craney.

Supporters of the measure weighed in on the matter on Wednesday.

When asked about the initiative by a NewBostonPost reporter on Wednesday night, DeCoste said the TCI will hurt small businesses near the state border.

“This would just give people one more reason to go up to New Hampshire and shop,” he said. “They’ll be bringing gasoline with them. We would be the only state so in this case, folks who live close not only to New Hampshire, but Vermont, Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Island will be coming and going to get filled up. It’s a big problem if you talk to the people who live along the New Hampshire border already. They don’t shop for big items in Massachusetts anymore already because you can go to New Hampshire and save five percent.”

Craney voiced his support for repealing the TCI in a press release issued by MassFiscal.

“For most Massachusetts residents, TCI will feel like a TAX when they fill up,” Craney said in the written statement. “Almost all of the other states that had originally considered joining the TCI gas tax scheme debated the merits of it in their legislatures. Massachusetts never had that opportunity. It’s good to see that steps are being taken to ensure that the Massachusetts citizenry can hold this regressive gas tax policy accountable.”

Boldyga also weighed in on the matter on his personal Facebook account:


TCI was originally envisioned to be a compact between 12 states, however all other states have backed out of the plan, making Massachusetts the only state that remains ‘fully committed.’

By calling for a 30% reduction in emissions over the next 10 years, the TCI is nothing short of a regressive tax that would impact the Commonwealth’s lower and middle income residents the most.

By adopting the TCI, the Biden Administration’s Energy Information Administration predicts that by 2025 Massachusetts will begin to experience fuel shortages, leaving over 80,000 vehicles without fuel. The plan would be to offset this by replacing 2,000 gas powered cars with electric vehicles every month.

The average working-class citizen can not afford an expensive electric car and they’re already struggling to make ends meet. Higher gas prices would be a crippling burden to our families and our businesses.

While we certainly have a responsibility to be good stewards of the planet and our natural resources, it cannot come at the expense of society’s most vulnerable.

We must find balance between embracing emerging technologies and adopting sound climate policies that don’t break the backs and bank accounts of the average Massachusetts family.


The title of the ballot question is “An Act Preserving Consumer Access to Gasoline and Other Motor Fuels.”  It states:


Be it enacted by the People, and their authority, as follows:

Chapter 64A of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following Section 14:

Preservation of Fuel Supply The supply of gasoline, diesel fuel, special fuels or similar motor fuels available to meet consumer demand shall not be reduced or restricted by the imposition of any tax, fee, or other revenue generating mechanism, or market-based compliance mechanism.


A spokesman for Governor Baker’s office could not be reached for comment on Thursday.


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