Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island Must Cut Transportation Pollution to Achieve Climate Commitments

EDF Statement from Pam Kiely, Associate Vice President for U.S. Climate

November 22, 2021
Chandler Green, (803) 981-2211,

(Hartford, CT -- Nov 23, 2021) Over the past week, the governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have indicated they will no longer pursue implementation of the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P), a regional program to limit climate pollution from the transportation sector. By putting a limit on total carbon pollution emitted by transportation fuels and requiring fossil fuel suppliers to pay a price for pollution associated with the fuels they sell, the program would have ensured transportation pollution declines over the course of the decade while raising proceeds. Those proceeds would have funded clean transportation strategies, expanded air quality monitoring, and spurred investments to reduce pollution and improve mobility options in overburdened and underserved communities.

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and a significant source of harmful air pollution. And it is the largest source of emissions in each of these three states, accounting for 37% of Connecticut’s economy-wide emissions, 36% of Rhode Island’s emissions and 42% of Massachusetts emissions.

“These states committed to achieving strong climate goals, yet they seemingly just took a key strategy for addressing their largest source of climate pollution off the table,” said Pam Kiely, Associate Vice President for U.S. Climate at EDF. “Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island cannot make good on their climate promises without a plan that puts an enforceable limit on pollution from cars, trucks and buses this decade. 

“Delaying action only further contributes to the accelerating climate crisis, while deepening inequities experienced by communities overburdened by air pollution and underserved by the transportation system. Major benefits that can immediately improve the quality of life for communities across the region -- like cleaner, more accessible transportation and healthier air -- are on the line.

“State leaders need to act quickly to put policies in place that slash climate pollution, improve air quality and invest in a better, more equitable transportation system -- whether that’s reaffirming their commitment to the TCI-P itself or swiftly identifying and implementing new policies that can get the job done.”

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