The Transportation Climate Initiative has released its long awaited draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week. After a year of workshops, webinars, and conference calls with over 500 stakeholders involved; the participating 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states have developed a comprehensive plan that is open for public input through February 28th. With the adoption of TCI’s proposed cap and investment program plan the multi-region partnership could benefit significantly with three times more emission coverage than the current Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program. This includes the 72 million people in the region, the $5.2 trillion dollar GDP, and the 52 million registered vehicles.
TCI’s modeling and analysis focused on three emission cap scenarios: energy and emissions, public health, and the economy. The modeling results, released this week, look at the three scenarios with a 20%, 22%, and 25% cap reduction with investments. The results show that without any cap and investment program put into place; the states will not meet its emission goals under a “business as usual” scenario. In addition to lowering emissions, with a -24% reduction under the 25% scenario, the benefits for states when implementing the program include improvements in health, reduced fuel expenditures, lower vehicles maintenance, increased individual income, more jobs, and an increase to the region’s GDP. Under the models highest 25% cap and invest program, the results showed a reduction in asthma by 1,366, a reduction in annual deaths by 877, and a reduction in avoided injuries by 1,701. The program will provide significant job increases adding 8,900 jobs by 2032 and 25,600 jobs by 2040, and an increase of $5.59 billion dollars by 2040. The investments in electric vehicle programs and incentives from the new revenue stream will also increase the EV market within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Continued analysis and modeling is underway with multiple universities working together to develop more policy cases.
With limited time for feedback from stakeholders and a final MOU proposed for the spring of 2020- it is imperative that government agencies, business leaders, and community partners provide feedback on the draft MOU.
The Transportation and Climate Initiative would generate $1.4 billion to $7 billion per year regionally.