A coalition of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia today announced their intent to design a new regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal that would cap and reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels, and invest proceeds from the program into low-carbon and more resilient transportation infrastructure.

Today’s statement, endorsed by Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, DC, describes the goals of such a program, including reducing climate changing pollution, creating economic opportunity, and improving transportation equity for currently underserved and overburdened populations. It also sets a goal of completing the policy design process within one year, after which each jurisdiction will decide whether to adopt and implement the policy.

All the participating jurisdictions are members of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a regional collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia that seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy, and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The work of TCI is facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center.

Earlier this year, TCI jurisdictions hosted a series of six regional listening sessions that informed today’s statement.

Statements from state leadership follow. See statements of support from businesses, organizations and other stakeholders.

CONNECTICUT
Statement from Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy
Rob Klee, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection 
“With the approximately 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation sector, we must accelerate our transition to a low-carbon transportation future. By signing onto the TCI commitment, Connecticut and the region are taking an important step forward to help protect the health and safety of our residents. Over the next year we will work closely with our regional partners to design a proposal that can be adopted by our states and implemented regionally.  I am confident this will put us on a path to not only decarbonize our transportation networks, but significantly improve them as well.”

DELAWARE
Shawn M. Garvin, Secretary, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control 
“The need to address climate change globally and here at home has never been more urgent.  Climate change is no longer merely a threat to future generations; rising seas, excessive rainfall, and increasing temperatures are already impacting Delaware’s infrastructure, economy and quality of life. Delaware is committed to continuing to be engaged in this conversation to determine the best path forward for this important issue."

MARYLAND
Ben Grumbles, Maryland Secretary of the Environment
“The Hogan Administration remains committed to making progress on combating climate change and to exploring innovative solutions to our environmental challenges." 

MASSACHUSETTS
Statement from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Stephanie Pollack, Secretary of Transportation and CEO, MAssDot
“The transportation sector is key to reducing carbon emissions, and Massachusetts looks forward to working with its partner states across the Northeast on this very important regional initiative. The Commonwealth has been a leader on these issues since the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act, but there is much work to be done and this is a key step forward.”

Matthew Beaton, Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
“Reducing emissions in the transportation sector requires a collaborative approach, and the Commonwealth is proud to partner with Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to pursue a potential program to further mitigate the impacts of climate change, protect the health of our residents, and build a more resilient and sustainable transportation system for the next generation,” said Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Commonwealth continues to lead the nation on climate change, and we look forward to working with our regional partners towards policies and strategies that will lead to carbon emissions reductions from the transportation sector.” 

NEW JERSEY
Catherine R. McCabe, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
“Joining the Transportation and Climate Initiative is yet another step forward for New Jersey to reduce the harmful effects of climate change and global warming on our state, where emissions from the transportation sector account for more than 70 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions and more than 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “New Jersey looks forward to joining with other states to lead the call to action for putting public health and the environment first.”

PENNSYLVANIA
Leslie S. Richards, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
“PennDOT is proud to partner with our sister Northeastern state transportation and environmental protection agencies in TCI’s bold initiative to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector and to strengthen the resiliency of our transportation infrastructure.  We look forward to actively participating in this multi-state policy development process to evaluate low-carbon transportation options. As one of the most economically dynamic regions in the world, the northeastern States working together have enormous potential to change the direction of climate policy toward sustainability.”

Patrick McDonnell, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
“With the federal government’s latest climate report, it is clear that delaying action on climate change is no longer an option. Through the Transportation Climate Initiative, the bi-partisan leaders of the northeast and mid-Atlantic region have committed to working together to tackle the largest source of greenhouse gases in our region. Pennsylvania is a state with abundant alternative energy resources and we look forward to bolstering our efforts to make our transportation systems smarter, more efficient, better for people, and better for the planet.”

RHODE ISLAND
Statement from Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo
Janet Coit, Director, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
“Our cars, SUVs, and trucks constitute the largest source of damaging greenhouse gas emissions. In the absence of an effective national strategy on climate change, states must innovate and lead to protect the health, safety, and livelihoods of our people, communities, and businesses. Under Governor Raimondo’s leadership, Rhode Island will continue to work aggressively to reduce GHG emissions, and the TCI initiative presents a major, market-based opportunity to develop cleaner transportation systems.” 

VERMONT
Peter Walke, Deputy Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources 
“Addressing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector requires working together across state lines.  Vermont cannot afford to go it alone.  The Transportation and Climate Initiative has provided a forum for the northeast U.S. to work together to address these issues.  Vermont is pleased to take this next step and begin working with our partner states to develop a specific policy proposal to address transportation emissions.  We want to be part of that discussion, and we want to understand how this will impact all Vermonters, so we can make an informed decision moving forward.  I want to thank the Georgetown Climate Center and our colleagues from across the northeast who have come together to make progress on this important issue.”

VIRGINIA
Matthew Strickler, Secretary of Natural Resources; Shannon Valentine, Secretary of Transportation; Brian Ball, Secretary of Commerce & Trade – Commonwealth of Virginia
“Virginia is fully committed to TCI’s founding principles and shared values. We support the efforts of TCI member states to explore policy approaches to create a regional low-carbon transportation system to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. Virginia has closely followed the public conversation that TCI initiated to explore those approaches and gain input on strategies. We agree that a regional solution that reflects the regional nature of the transportation system will be more beneficial to residents and businesses, and we look forward to participating in the development of those solutions.”

WASHINGTON, DC
Tommy Wells, Director, District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment
“We are proud of the actions the District of Columbia has taken so far to cut carbon emissions and expand clean transportation options, but we have more work ahead to realize our vision for a safe, clean, and accessible transportation system. Our region thrives from being interconnected and we are excited to work with our neighbors and partners up and down the coast to develop regional transportation solutions that will cut carbon, congestion, and air pollution at the same time.”