Roper: Even Massachusetts is giving up on TCI

By Rob Roper

Throughout the debate over The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), the convoluted scheme to squeeze up to $5.6 billion out of New England and Mid Atlantic state drivers under the thin facade that it’s really not a Carbon Tax, the one never-wavering cheerleader for the idea was Massachusetts. Not anymore.

According to Commonwealth Magazine, the $600 million transportation bill just put forward counts on zero revenues from TCI. House Speaker Robert DeLeo “called the future of TCI ‘very iffy,’ noting that no other state has committed to it. ‘It does not appear the TCI concept is catching on as we’d hoped it would.’”

Additionally, Chris Dempsey, director of the advocacy group Transportation for Massachusetts, lamented, “We think TCI has the potential to be a transformational policy, and the House language seems to diminish the potential importance and value of TCI….”

This realization that drivers (who vote) throughout the 11 remaining states still at the TCI table have no interest in paying and extra 17 cents a gallon for gasoline and diesel shouldn’t be a shocker. New Hampshire has already declared it has no intention of ever participating in what Gov. Chris Sununu called “a boondoggle,” and Virginia, a big fish in this pond, declared it has no intention of participating at this time.

Perhaps it’s time to put this sad concept out of its misery once and for all.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain

11 thoughts on “Roper: Even Massachusetts is giving up on TCI

  1. What is more scary is that after 1-2 years if the earth’s temperature has not changed or the CO2 emissions have not receded, what happens? Do they double down and increase the fees/taxes? This will end up being a Government run PONZI scheme with no acceptable results.

  2. I still want to know why the so-called CO2 levels have increased 16% and how they arrived at that figure. That number is the basis for the claim we need this tax, and yet no one has explained who came up with it and how they decided its valid. — Makes me think all the people who support this idea are really stupid or simply corrupt.

    • Corrupt is right. All the people involved, from speculators, investors, to bought and paid for legislators, are out to make profits and names for themselves. As Sununu put it, it’s all a boondoggle. In the entertainment industry it’s called, “smoke and mirrors”.

  3. There would be a move towards EVs as part of TCI.
    EVs would reduce CO2 by very little, but would require enormous investments.


    Go to any Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, etc., parking lot and you see at least 60% four-wheel-drive, and all-wheel-drive SUVs/crossovers/pick-up trucks.

    People own these vehicles for many reasons, especially to drive on snowy, icy, hilly, pothole, muddy, rutted roads during cold winters.
    Pure EVs would lose up to 40% of their already-limited range during these adverse conditions.
    A full-battery, 200-mile range, could become a mere 120 miles.
    A hybrid would be much better, provided it has all-wheel-drive.

    At current marketing/production rates, it would take at least 5 more years before a variety of electric light duty vehicles (small, medium and large) would be marketed to suit the requirements of NE drivers.

    NOTE: Tesla will start delivery of its all-wheel-drive Model Y, a small SUV, same chassis as the Model 3. The long-range version, 315 miles, required in Vermont, etc., would cost $52,990, plus destination & docs $1200, sales tax $3180, installed wall-mounted charger $1,500, a total of about $58,780. If you order right now, you will get your Tesla Model Y in about 1 to 1.5 years.

    The cost is totally out of reach for about 90% of households in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, etc.

    Why do career-legislators/career-bureaucrats not understand this?
    Why do they keep pestering us with their fantasy goals?

    The people who voted them into office do not have the money for those fantasy goals, grabbed out of a hat by cabals of self-seeking career-legislators/career-bureaucrats, who:

    – Usually have near-zero technical education and experience in energy systems design and analysis.
    – Hype EVs to the voters, despite their known performance shortcomings and high costs.
    – Advocate giving more state subsidies to mostly higher-income households to get them to buy EVs.
    – Continuously harangue/fear-monger voters to buy EVs, to “save the world/fight climate change”.

  4. Comments Regarding GWSA, Stage 1:

    1. The CO2 reduction by 2025 is not just about enlarging state government by adding scores of employees to various state and local governments for managing expanded existing energy programs and adding new energy programs.

    2. The rapid CO2 reduction would be extremely disruptive to ongoing economic activities, i.e., impose significant additional costs (increased taxes and additional subsidies and investments to implement mandates) on the already near-zero, real-growth, private sector, exactly the opposite of what has been needed for about 2 decades.

    3. The CO2 reduction would require adding several hundred million dollars each year, to state and local government budgets, to:

    – Manage expanded existing programs and implement new ones.
    – Distribute subsidies, mostly to RE entities.
    – Implement regulations and monitor mandated adjustments in lifestyles

    NOTE: The RE sector of the Vermont economy, including government, would be celebrating and enjoying long-term expansion, prosperity and security, with all other sectors mourning their losses and insecurity, all while climate change continued as usual.

    4. VT CO2 emissions have been increasing during recent years, due to existing government programs, costing money and increasing everyone’s costs, not being effective at decreasing CO2, i.e., these programs are dysfunctional.

    5. Any new government programs, started in haste, would need to immediately reverse the increasing trend, plus bend the curve down to achieve a lower CO2 level, i.e., from about 9.02 million Mt in 2020 to 7.578 million Mt in 2025, an extremely daunting task.

    NOTE: The required very rapid increase in effectiveness of existing and new programs would happen with essentially the same career-bureaucrats and career-legislators?

    6. Vermont’s CO2 was 10.24 million Mt in 2005, 10.19 million Mt in 2015, and 9.02 million Mt in 2018. The reductions in 2017 and 2018 were mainly due to increased nuclear and hydro purchases by GMP.

    7. The rapid CO2 reduction is nothing more than wishful dreaming by career-bureaucrats and career-legislators, who want to have a “second go at it”, and “double-down” by spending $400 million/y for each of the next 5 years, plus more per year thereafter.

  5. Vermont has more than enough dysfunctional energy programs that, have cost several billion dollars, including dysfunctional Efficiency Vermont, but their result has been a 16% INCREASE of CO2 since 1990.

    The Green New Deal, TCI, GWSA, etc., would be more of the same, mis-managed by the same cabal of incompetent characters that brought us the existing dysfunctional programs.

    This time that cabal wants to “double down“, not $200 million per year, but about $400 million/y, for the next 5 years, because “if Vermont does not do it, the world will go to hell in a hand basket in just a few years!!“

    No one, even the cabal, believes that for one second.

    They are just huckstering for state and federal grants and subsidies for their useless projects.

    They have some nerve!!

    Vote them out by the dozens in November.

    Take back Vermont from the Free loaders.

    • The cabal is as you say, incompetent. But it’s the ones behind them that are shrewd, calculating, and diabolical in their pursuit of profits and power.

  6. You know you’ve lost it if the Massholio’s won’t go along with a tax…It
    ain’t called Taxachusetts for nothing…….their also the most gullible to lies of the left
    looking at the lairs the elect…

  7. This is nothing but a just a scam to force another tax by saying it’s going to save the world.
    Guess it’s just a big bucket with a lot of holes in it!
    I’m not drinking the water!!

  8. So, for New Hampshire it’s a No, Now Massachusetts calling it quits, any bets on
    what Good Old Vermont’s ” Liberal BrainTrust ” in Montpelier will do ????

    Wake up people, it’s your state, not theirs, they only legislate for an agenda !!

    • The liberal brain trust. I’m guessing they will plow ahead, despite that they will be out on the limb by themselves. That’s how stiff necked these politicos are.

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