Roper: Transportation Climate Initiative’s biggest cheerleader gets cold feet

By Rob Roper

Since the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) emerged as a serious policy proposal, the most eager proponent of the multi-state carbon tax on motor fuels has been Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Even as New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu called the scheme to raise prices on gasoline and diesel fuels by up to 17 cents per gallon (a de facto tax on New England and Mid-Atlantic state drivers of $5.6 billion annually) “a financial boondoggle and the people of New Hampshire will never support it,” and other governors mumbled, shuffled, and stared at their toes about it, Baker remained stalwart. Until this week.

Public domain

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

According to the Boston Herald, “Gov. Charlie Baker said governors are re-evaluating support of a controversial carbon tax designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions as advocates renew calls for its passage.” He further acknowledged that, “We’re living at a point in time right now that’s dramatically different than the point in time we were living in when people’s expectations about miles traveled and all the rest were a lot different.”

It’s finally dawning on Baker that the cost/benefits of the program no longer make sense. In our opinion they never did, but certainly not in the wake of the Covid economic downturn. The costs to businesses and families trying to rebuild their financial foundations are totally unjustified, especially given the reality that TCI will have a negligible impact on regional greenhouse gas emissions and zero impact on global climate trends. It’s an all-cost/no benefit tax scheme, except for the people getting rich running the “carbon credit” market and a handful of special interests that will get privileged access to subsidies out of the TCI cookie jar.

Last month, the Ethan Allen Institute commissioned a scientific poll asking Vermonters what they thought about TCI. A solid majority opposes adding a tax/fee/surcharge to gasoline and diesel prices, and that majority increases when they learn that TCI will have at best a meager 1%-6% impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (See full results here.)

If Charlie Baker sees the writing on the wall for TCI, perhaps it’s time we all did.

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

Image courtesy of Public domain

8 thoughts on “Roper: Transportation Climate Initiative’s biggest cheerleader gets cold feet

  1. To be honest, I don’t think there was enough education on the negative effects of the GWSA for Vermonters and why it is a really lousy piece of public policy as written. Radio, TV and newspaper ads should have been done on a broad scope across Vermont during the election season then elections may have been different in many other races.

    Too often Vermont businesses are afraid to speak out fearing reprisal in the legislature. Unfortunately many would rather sit in the middle of the political road and get run over instead of joining forces to try and make change.

    • Not much different from medieval times, when peasants were allowed a plot of land, and a hovel, as long as they paid tributes and said yes sir, no sir to the king’s lords.

  2. While Gov. Charlie Baker is moving toward a stand down on TCI, Vermont is moving full speed ahead on a parallel track known as the Global Warming Solutions Act…….The GWSA Council of 23 Experts is preparing to blast off……..Its objective: Save the Planet……. Potential down sides: Bankrupt all Vermonters and accomplish nothing measurable while the two billion people in China and India continue building coal fired power plants around the world and buying new gas fueled vehicles in record numbers.

    So what does Charlie Baker know that Ex- Vermont leaders Mitzi Johnson, David Zuckerman, Robin Chesnut-Tangerman and the other Dems/Progs didn’t know as they championed the GWSA and were subsequently fired by the people?

    The answer: Baker is smart enough to know that most people aren’t stupid……..A reality that Johnson, Zuckerman, etal miserably failed to comprehend as they pushed GWSA and other bad ideas into law……..And they have now paid the price.

    The people don’t like to be repeatedly disrespected by bad ideas forced on them by an echo chamber of like and poor thinkers…….A reality that Charlie Baker has apparently grasped.

  3. The AGW hypocrisy will demonize him, riot at his campaigns, seek his impeachment, maybe even barbecue his pet dog (if not his neighborhood). Apostasy, the denial of the dogma of a fanatic religion to which one once paid homage, is not good for one’s health. And, of course, causes Global Warming as does everything else they oppose (other than their private jets, giant yachts and multiple air conditioned mansions).

    • I think a lot of the peasants are getting ready to brake out the pitch folks and storm the Castle. Is it really any different than medieval times. The King used punishment to force the peasants to do whatever the royal proclamation said, which usually pertained to more taxes. No one could ask what those taxes were for. But in today’s world, the royals (or those who think they are royal) scheme to create an emergency (climate change, formally known as global warming) to set the stage for the punishment yet to follow. Certainly the King wouldn’t want the peasants to be cold in the winter? Surely, the legislators would not want Vermonters to pay more to travel long distances to work, right? No, not really. Nothing has changed from medieval times, just the Royal have!

      • Charlie “Parker” has really wiped the state out, they’ve got the number one unemployment rate in the country.. hard to do much when you’ve got that for an accomplishment.

        Yeah, I agree on the pitchforks.. I’m surprised he’s still alive now- it’s a pretty rough crowd down there and they are really mad.

        It’s tragic what he’s done to the state.. Howie Carr has been telling us about all the restaurants that have closed up.. these are places that have been open in many cases for near 100 year runs.. it’s really painful to see this all to be honest.
        It really is long past time for the pitchforks.

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