TCI

I wrote the following letter to the VCC. It was sent with the co-signatures of 19 other legislators.

                  To the Vermont Climate Council:
We the undersigned members of the Vermont House of Representatives and Senate are writing to register our opposition to Vermont joining the
Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), which we understand you intend to
recommend as part of your Climate Action Plan.
We do not think Vermont should join TCI for the following reasons:
The TCI would function in practice as a carbon tax on motor fuels (gasoline and on-road diesel), raising prices on those products in order to discourage their use.
Such a tax increase would disproportionately and regressively impact
low income and rural drivers, making TCI particularly harmful to a state like Vermont. At this time, due to cost and other factors, practical alternatives to driving internal combustion engine vehicles do not exist for most Vermonters.
As a result, this would make the TCI a particularly cruel policy for many, many Vermonters.
As you are certainly aware, gasoline and diesel prices have already increased 75% since January, 2021. Any added increase to that burden on Vermont drivers such as what would result from Vermont’s participation in TCI (with your estimates being between $20 and $30 million annually) is especially undesirable at this time.
At this juncture the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut have removed themselves as players in the TCI arena. This leaves Vermont as the lone remaining New England state to even have the prospect of this regressive tax still on the table.
Even if the TCI were, in theory, a good proposal that Vermont would benefit from participating in (which we contend it is not), we feel it is totally inappropriate for the Climate Council to put this initiative forward as a key funding mechanism for the Climate Action Plan or as a calculated factor in future greenhouse gas
reduction.
Respectfully