TCI's Regional Policy Design Process 2019

Updated October 1, 2019

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TCI jurisdictions share updates on policy design process 

October 1, 2019  – Jurisdictions participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) have made available a framework for a draft regional policy proposal to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from transportation, and are encouraging interested individuals and organizations to provide feedback on the draft framework through the TCI portal. This high-level framework represents an important milestone in the jurisdictions’ bipartisan regional collaboration this year, and reflects extensive public engagement, technical analysis and consultation. A draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) building on the framework is anticipated in December of 2019. After considering further public input, a final MOU is expected in the Spring of 2020, at which point each jurisdiction will decide whether to sign the final MOU and participate in the regional program. TCI jurisdictions encourage all interested parties to provide input and feedback on the draft framework in writing via the online portal on the TCI website. Feedback on the draft framework is most helpful if received by November 5.

View the Framework for a Draft Regional Policy Proposal

The TCI jurisdictions also shared additional detail on the timeline for the TCI regional policy development process for the remainder of 2019 and 2020, including additional opportunities for public input and feedback.

  • October 1, 2019 – Release of framework for a draft regional policy proposal
  • October/November 2019 – Gather and consider public input on framework
  • December 2019 – Release of a regional policy proposal in the form of a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), accompanied by modeling results that estimate the energy and emissions implications of different cap levels and investment scenarios, as well as potential costs and benefits of different program design options.
  • January/February 2020 – Gather and consider public input on Draft MOU
  • Spring 2020 – Jurisdictions release a final Memorandum of Understanding. At this point, each jurisdiction will decide whether to sign the MOU and participate in the regional program.
  • Spring –  Fall 2020 – Participating jurisdictions develop a “model rule” and take any legislative steps that could be needed to implement the regional program.
  • 2021 – Jurisdictions conduct rulemaking process to adopt regulations.
  • As early as 2022 –  Program implementation begins.

In addition to the Framework for a Draft Regional Policy Proposal, TCI jurisdictions made available two supplemental documents:

  • Summary of Public Input to Date 
    Also available now is a high-level summary of the extensive input people and organizations have submitted through regional workshops and webinars this year. Since the beginning of this year, TCI jurisdictions have conducted three regional workshops and several webinars, and continue to encourage interested people and organizations to submit input and ideas online. In addition, individual TCI jurisdictions are continuing to offer public workshops and other opportunities for people to participate in the policy development process. The content of the draft regional policy framework has been informed by all the input received so far, and TCI jurisdictions will continue to review and consider additional input as they prepare to release a regional policy proposal later this year.

  • Program Modeling Update
    A range of modeling tools are being used to help inform decisions by TCI jurisdictions regarding the design of a regional cap-and-invest program and to provide a fuller picture of the potential benefits and costs of different program design options. While information about the modeling strategy has been shared with the public during TCI webinars held in May and July of this year, a written description with additional details is now available. 

About TCI's regional low-carbon transportation policy design process 

Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) jurisdictions are developing a regional policy for low-carbon transportation following the December 18, 2018 statement by nine states and Washington DC committing to:

“…design a regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal that would cap and reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels through a cap-and-invest program or other pricing mechanism… [and]… to complete the policy development process within one year, after which each jurisdiction will decide whether to adopt and implement the policy.”

TCI jurisdictions have designed a workplan with the goal of developing a policy that accelerates the transition to a low-carbon transportation future and delivers a better, cleaner, more resilient transportation system that benefits all our communities, particularly those underserved by current transportation options and disproportionately burdened by pollution, while making significant reductions in greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollution across the region. With ongoing facilitation support from the Georgetown Climate Center, TCI states are planning and beginning to implement a range of activities to ensure that the final proposed policy reflects further input from stakeholders, rigorous technical analysis, and consultation with leading experts.

For additional background, see the TCI Regional Policy Design Process Fact Sheet and the Cap-and-Invest Fact Sheet. Both documents are available in English, Spanish, Portugese, Chinese, and Haitian Creole.

Public workshops 

TCI has hosted three regional workshops this year to explore issues that will be central to the design of a proposed regional low-carbon transportation policy. These events are important opportunities for TCI jurisdictions to consult with experts, businesses, residents, and communities who might inform the policy. In-person workshops are supplemented by topical webinars and ongoing state outreach to constituents within their respective jurisdictions.

Technical Workshop: Regional Cap and Invest for Transportation, Key Design Elements
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Boston, Massachusetts

Topics covered at this workshop included:

  • Cost Containment and Program Ambition
  • Modeling Strategies
  • Monitoring and Reporting
  • Fuel Coverage and Compliance
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Newark, New Jersey
Topics covered at this workshop included:
  • Transportation priorities in underserved and disproportionately affected communities;
  • Reducing transportation emissions;
  • Ways to foster transportation equity in rural, suburban, and urban communities;
  • Ways a regional low-carbon transportation policy can complement other equity-related efforts.

Low-Carbon Transportation Investments, Strategies, and Outcomes
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Baltimore, Maryland

At this workshop, officials from TCI jurisdictions:

  • Provided public updates regarding the TCI regional policy development process and responded to related questions from stakeholders
  • Received guidance from subject matter experts and input from stakeholders on the following topics:
    • The potential environmental, health, and economic benefits of a regional low-carbon transportation program and associated investments;
    • Strategies for setting investment priorities and ways to measure and evaluate program performance; and
    • How a regional cap and invest program and potential complementary policies could work together.

A recording of the livestream will be available shortly. Click here for pictures and a summary of this workshop.


Cap-and-Invest 101 
Friday, April 12, 2019
This video explores the principles behind cap-and-invest policies to reduce global warming pollution. The 40 minute presentation covers how cap-and-invest approaches operate, explores how such a program might be designed to spur investments in low-carbon transportation, and details steps states have taken to accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more resilient transportation system. Learn more.

Reference Case Assumptions for Policy Program Design

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Transportation and Climate Initiative and the Georgetown Climate Center presented a webinar to discuss modeling methods that TCI states are considering to inform the design of a proposed regional cap and invest program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The purpose of this webinar was to review data inputs and assumptions that may be used for modeling a TCI “reference case,” which is the first step of the modeling process. Learn more.


Reference Case Results
Thursday, August 8, 2019
TCI state leaders shared updates and invited further input and questions from stakeholders to inform the design of a proposed regional cap-and-invest program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation. This interactive presentation reviewed:

  • Updates on the TCI "reference case" modeling run, the first step of the modeling process;
  • Public input received following a previous TCI webinar on reference case assumptions; and
  • Final inputs and assumptions that were used to run the reference case. ​

Learn more and view the slides from the Reference Case Results webinar


Submit your input

You are invited to contribute suggestions, ideas, and other input through TCI's online form.

PLEASE NOTE: All input submitted via this form, including the names and affiliations of those providing the input, will be published on this website on an ongoing basis. View current submissions from stakeholders.