Connecticut Backs Off Climate-Change Carbon-Fee On Fuel, Leaving Massachusetts Lonelier

Printed from:

Connecticut’s Democratic governor,Ned Lamont, no longer has an interest in joining the Transportation and Climate Initiative that would implement a fee on fuel in order to try to lessen climate change.

That means that Massachusetts and Rhode Island are now the only states committed to entering the regional fee scheme on gasoline and diesel along with the District of Columbia. The initiative was initially conceived as a multi-state agreement stretching from Maine to Virginia.

Lamont cited the current gas prices as the reason why he doesn’t plan to go forward with the carbon fee on fuel, which would further increase the price of gasoline in Connecticut.

“We had a hard time doing TCI when gas prices were at historic lows. So it’s probably not the year to do it this year with gas prices where they are,” Lamont said, according to WSHU.

The news makes Connecticut the 10th state to back out of the initiative. 

Initially, a dozen states expressed interest in the Transportation and Climate Initiative when the idea first came up in 2019. However, both Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning states have gradually backed out of it during the past couple of years.

The proposal calls for charging fees to fuel providers based on their carbon emissions. That revenue is then supposed to go towards improving public transportation, with the idea of reducing the need for people to drive their own car. The theory is that higher fuel prices provide a disincentive for consumption and therefore reduce carbon emissions, and that if more people use public transportation then fewer people will drive and that carbon emissions will decrease. 

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance celebrated the news of Lamont’s announcement. The organization wants Massachusetts to follow Connecticut in backing out.

“With Connecticut backing off from TCI, Massachusetts should follow,” MassFiscal spokesman Paul Diego Craney said in a statement. “There is no legitimate reason for Massachusetts to continue in the scheme. At this point, it’s no longer a regional approach and will achieve next to nothing for the environment. It will, however, inflict significant economic harm on the working poor and middle class.”

“With Thanksgiving next week, Governor Baker should immediately withdraw Massachusetts from the scheme so Massachusetts motorists can have something to be thankful for,” he added.

Just how much it would increase the cost of gas and diesel remains unclear. It could increase the price of a gallon of gasoline and diesel by as little as 5 cents per gallon, or 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.

The press office for Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker could not be reached for comment on Thursday afternoon.


New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.