Statements of Support for Regional Low-Carbon Transportation Policy Development Announcement

On December 18, 2018, a coalition of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia announced their intent to design a new regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal that would cap and reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels, and invest proceeds from the program into low-carbon and more resilient transportation infrastructure. The statement was endorsed by Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. It describes the goals of such a program, including reducing climate changing pollution, creating economic opportunity, and improving transportation equity for currently underserved and overburdened populations. It also sets a goal of completing the policy design process within one year, after which each jurisdiction will decide whether to adopt and implement the policy. Read the full announcement here.
Below are statements of support from businesses, organizations, and other stakeholders. This page will be updated as more statements are released.
Jack Gillis, Executive Director, Consumer Federation of America
“Cleaner, more efficient transportation options are good for consumers, saving money and reducing the impact of gas prices on American families. The Consumer Federation of America supports this important effort to increase the availability of fuel efficient vehicles and other clean transportation options. We are pleased to see the members of the Transportation Climate Initiative working together to make this happen at a regional level. Not only will this effort help consumers in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern States, but it will set the stage for similar efforts throughout the country.”
Metropolitan Area Planning Council
“As a regional planning agency, MAPC applauds Governor Baker’s move to work collaboratively with neighboring states toward reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) passed in 2008 helped our region to become one of the most energy efficient in the nation; this would build on that model, significantly lowering greenhouse gas emissions for the transportation sector. We support TCI and additional policy initiatives that prioritize clean vehicles and fuels as a way of ensuring future generations have access to clean air and a healthy environment.”
Deborah Brown, Chief Mission Officer, American Lung Association
"From wildfires to hurricanes and severe storms, we are experiencing the health impacts of climate change today and the transportation sector is the largest source of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. Advancing a regional clean transportation solution presents an opportunity for states to address not only the significant climate-related health threats posed by carbon pollution, but also air pollution harmful to human health such as ozone and particulate matter precursor emissions from light- and heavy-duty vehicles as well as public transportation.  
"As this process moves forward, the details are of utmost importance. The agreement must create clear and enforceable emissions reductions. Investments should recognize all emission impacts. The agreement must ensure that communities that have borne the brunt of air pollution for far too long receive protection from pollutants and also benefit directly from these improvements. In addition, as electric vehicles are increasingly used, efforts to clean up the power grid that fuels these vehicles must continue to reduce carbon and other pollutants they produce.
"The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regional states have a long history of collectively working together to address public health and air quality problems. States can and must move forward on initiatives without weakening federal Clean Air Act protections. A strong regional plan could protect public health and can have significant positive impacts on state and local air quality. This is especially important for the health of individuals who are more vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution, such as older adults, youth, pregnant women and those living with a chronic disease, as well as those who live near roadways and others who have long experienced greater exposure and a disproportionate health burden of air pollution. Addressing climate change and supporting healthier air is an important step to raising the bar for everyone, and ensuring every American has the opportunity to live a full and healthy life."
Terence Sobolewski, SVP and Chief Customer Officer, National Grid, US National Grid
Today, two of National Grid’s service territories, MA and RI, along with jurisdictions across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, made a historic commitment to address one of the largest challenges threatening our clean energy future – transportation emissions. National Grid commends the Transportation and Climate Initiative and their members for their willingness to study and design a regional, market-based system transportation policy to reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels.
“Through similar regional partnerships like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and forward thinking policies, National Grid and our jurisdictions have achieved meaningful greenhouse gas reductions in the power sector and have made commitments to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation and heating sectors in the coming years.
“National Grid welcomes the opportunity to participate in the stakeholder process to explore this transportation program and support the states undertaking a full technical, environmental, and economic analysis to evaluate the potential benefits and costs of a regional transportation program.  We will look forward to contributing as stakeholders to the design of a market-based transportation policy that reduces carbon emissions, minimizes impacts on our customers, and benefits all communities across our states.”
Trip Pollard, Director, Land and Community Program, Southern Environmental Law Center
Transportation is the number one source of carbon pollution nationwide, as well as in Virginia. The Southern Environmental Law Center strongly supports efforts to develop a clean, efficient, and equitable transportation system, and applauds Governor Northam for joining with eight other governors to explore a regional approach to cap transportation emissions and fund cleaner alternatives.  This is an important step, which offers tremendous potential benefits to our health, our economy, and our environment. We look forward to working with public officials and other stakeholders to develop and implement this proposal to ensure that these benefits are achieved.
Robin Chase, founder and former CEO of Zipcar
"Getting a firm price on carbon would provide stability and an ability for businesses to plan farther ahead. If states can use the revenue to invest in the many clean and innovative transport solutions that exist, this levels the playing field against subsidized fossil-fuel-heavy transport systems that pollute and are costly to states."
Kevin G. Miller, Director of Public Policy, ChargePoint
“Today, Governors from 10 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic announced bold, coordinated action to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector through the Transportation Climate Initiative. This is a landmark initiative that will accelerate the shift to electric mobility, solidify America’s leadership in emerging technology, and usher in the mass adoption of cleaner, more sustainable modes of transportation across the region. ChargePoint looks forward to working with these governors, their states, and regional stakeholders to jumpstart this critically important move to a low-carbon future.”
Amy Laura Cahn, Director, Healthy Communities & Environmental Justice program at Conservation Law Foundation
“The health and economic well-being of people and our planet depend on bold action today to create a transportation system for the future. Environmental justice communities have the fewest resources to adapt to the impacts of climate change but have long borne the greatest burdens of pollution and transportation inequity. We welcome a regional problem-solving approach, but our most disadvantaged residents must have a seat at the table.”
Jonathan Levy, VP of Strategic Initiatives, EVgo
“As the leader in public fast charging in the U.S., EVgo salutes the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) for their work advancing regional solutions to enable clean transportation. EVgo is continuing to expand our fast charging network across the country and looks forward to working with TCI states to enable the economic and environmental benefits that come with electric vehicle adoption.”
Toyota Motor North America
“Toyota has taken on the “New Vehicle Zero CO2 Challenge,” as part of its 2050 Environmental Challenges, in which Toyota will strive to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent in comparison with 2010 levels, by 2050. To that end, Toyota looks forward to continuing to engage with the Transportation & Climate Initiative and other stakeholders on policies that support reducing transportation CO2 emissions.”
Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, Executive Director, Maryland Environmental Health Network
“As an environmental health organization, we are cautiously optimistic about joint efforts to recognize the regional impact of local transportation on climate and health. According to US EPA, 27 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from transportation. We cannot afford to ignore man made threats to human health or to build solutions without the input of impacted communities who are disenfranchised by air pollution from fossil fueled cars and buses, exclusive highway systems, and related air and water pollution. Communities understand the issues and have a great deal to add to the process and we will work to ensure that everyone is listening.”
Emil Frankel, former Assistant Secretary, Transportation Policy for US DOT; former Commissioner, CT DOT
“The nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia (including my native state of Connecticut), engaged in the “Transportation and Climate Initiative” (TCI), facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center, are to be applauded for undertaking this effort.  America and the world will not adequately address the catastrophic risks of climate change, unless we achieve substantial reductions of the carbon content of transportation fuels, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from this sector, and improve the resiliency of transportation facilities.  Transportation is the largest single contributor to America’s GHG emissions, and transportation facilities are uniquely exposed to the rising sea levels and the severe storm surges and flooding associated with climate change.   Even as states, like Connecticut, face the need to increase the resources that must be invested in its transportation infrastructure, in order to assure its state of good repair, its resiliency, and its efficiency, transportation funding and finance systems should be used to reduce congestion and to minimize the carbon content of transportation fuels.  These are not incompatible, but, rather, complementary, goals, and TCI is a critically important first step in achieving them.”
Jesse Mermell, President, Alliance for Business Leadership
"Meaningful progress on the challenges Massachusetts faces from both climate change and transportation is essential for the future of our state's economy, and cannot be further delayed. We're encouraged by the potential of a regional approach to climate change and transportation, and applaud the Baker Administration for engaging Massachusetts in the design process." 
Bruce Ho, Senior Advocate, Climate and Clean Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council
“Our transportation system is in crisis, and fixing decades of neglect will require strong, aggressive leadership at all levels of government. This commitment from Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to transform and modernize our aging transportation – from cleaner cars and trucks to more efficient buses, trains, and walkable and bikeable communities – will make us safer and healthier and help meet the transportation needs of all residents. We stand ready to work with governors and stakeholders across the region to advance this bold, bipartisan commitment.”
Jordan Stutt, Director of Carbon Programs, Acadia Center
“This is what climate leadership looks like. These states have gathered input from 500 stakeholders over the last year, and now they’re using that feedback to inform climate action. The plan they have unveiled today will make our air cleaner while unleashing investments to deliver the modern, accessible transportation options that the region demands.”
Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists
“These nine states and the District of Columbia inspire us all with this ambitious, regional, bi-partisan plan to tackle one of the biggest challenges—cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by transitioning to clean transportation.  Were these states a country, it would be the world’s fifth-largest economy, just behind Germany. These states help reassure an anxious world that the United States is still in the fight, while meeting the pressing needs of their residents who want clean, reliable, affordable transportation options. UCS applauds the Governors and other leaders who have taken this step, and we will work with them and a diverse set of stakeholders to bring this proposed plan over the finish line.”
Mark Kresowik, Regional Deputy Director, Sierra Club
“As climate pollution rises, it’s more important than ever that state leaders take action to address climate change -- and that’s exactly what the Northeast is doing,” said Mark Kresowik, regional deputy director Sierra Club. “Developing a modern, clean transportation system by expanding access to electric vehicles, public transit, and walkable and bikeable communities will save lives, create new jobs, and help people get where they're going faster. That's why there’s overwhelming public support for action.”
Lynn Scarlett, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, The Nature Conservancy
“The transportation sector in the U.S. is currently the number one contributor to greenhouse gas pollution that causes climate change. We applaud these states who have taken up the challenge to address climate change – one that emphasizes reducing traffic congestion, increases the use of public transportation, alleviates stress on infrastructure, and improves air quality. We look forward to working with the states and with other stakeholders to sustain economic opportunities while safeguarding a future for our children.”
Chris Dempsey, Transportation for Massachusetts
“On behalf of our more than 70 transportation, environmental, and planning organizations, we applaud Governor Baker’s leadership in advancing the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) as part of his strategy to aggressively move Massachusetts away from the use of carbon fuels.  By joining other states from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in advancing TCI, Governor Baker has demonstrated the type of bipartisan, innovative, and reform-minded approach to complex problems for which he is known.”
Noah Dubin, Eastern States Advocate, E2
“Business leaders in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic know that fighting climate change is not a zero sum game. We can reduce emissions and safeguard our environment all while growing the economy. This regional approach to lowering transportation emissions is a perfect example; it will create jobs, modernize infrastructure to meet commuter’s 21st-century needs, and spur innovation up and down the East Coast.”
Nick Sifuentes, Executive Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaigns
"The northeast has made tremendous progress on combating greenhouse gases and pollution from power plants. Thanks to that hard work across multiple states, emissions have decreased significantly. Now it's time for us to tackle the transportation sector, which has become the single largest contributor to greenhouse gases in the region. The Transportation and Climate Initiative is the best way to bring states together to keep up what has become the biggest fight of our generation."
Dr. Laura Anderko PhD RN, Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies
“Healthy air is essential to life. Unfortunately, polluted air places millions of people at risk, particularly children. Air pollution has been associated with asthma, preterm birth, low birth weight and impaired brain development. Efforts to institute a “cap and invest” strategy on carbon will lead to increased energy efficiency, reduced air pollution, and improved health.”
Claire Coleman, Climate and Energy Attorney, Connecticut Fund for the Environment
“Transportation is the largest contributor of emissions in Connecticut, and pollutants from dirty cars hurt our residents—especially those in low-income communities. A regional plan to tackle these emissions equitably will be good for Connecticut’s health and economy, and will generate badly-needed revenue to clean up our air and modernize aging transportation systems. Connecticut Fund for the Environment is thrilled that our state will continue to work with its neighbors to move this critical policy forward.”
Matt Casale, Transportation Campaign Director, U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group)
“Americans want a modern transportation system that is cleaner, healthier and more efficient, and we applaud the group of governors for moving us toward that goal. To protect our health and the environment, local and state governments must continue to take bold action to reduce transportation-related pollution. We are one step closer to getting the 21st century transportation system we need and deserve.”
Omer W. Khwaja, Esq., New York Campaign Director, Jobs to Move America
"Significant benefits to working people will flow from investing in a measured transition to a clean transportation system in the Northeast region: job-pipelines for disadvantaged workers, improved access to clean air and public transportation for working communities, and job retraining opportunities for those currently working in industries dependent on fossil fuel. Jobs to Move America is confident that lifting workers' concerns at these listening sessions will help accelerate this transition."
Alexander Rodriguez, Organizer, Chispa Community
“Climate change is the struggle of our generation and Connecticut has led the way when it comes to cutting emissions and investing in clean energy. This initiative is the next step in the fight to protect our communities--especially the most vulnerable among us--and turn the tide against climate change. Carbon pollution, rising sea levels, and severe weather events affect us all, but they don't affect us all equally. Communities of color and low-income communities are often hit the hardest, and this initiative addresses those inequalities while providing transportation solutions that are clean, equitable, and forward-thinking."
Rick Dimino, President and CEO, A Better City
“This is a great opportunity to use a proven market mechanism to help the Commonwealth achieve our transportation and climate goals as well as the recommendations set out in the Governor’s Future of Transportation Commission Report. We look forward to working with the Baker administration as well as the other East Coast states to ensure an effective and efficient cap-and-invest system is implemented and utilized to advance these important goals.”
Peter Rothstein, President, NECEC
“The Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) is excited to see a regional effort to advance clean transportation finally bearing fruit. We applaud the nine participating states and Washington, D.C., for their leadership. NECEC and our member companies look forward to building on today’s commitment. Together, we can create a modern, non-emitting transportation system that works for our economy and our environment.”
Michael Green, Executive Director, Climate XChange
“The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have the opportunity to lead the nation on clean transportation with carbon pricing. This policy can create less congested roadways, cleaner air, and thousands of jobs. The states’ collective action shows that not only can we lead but we can do it in a bipartisan way. We look forward to learning more about the implementation process and how we can work towards a cleaner transportation system in the region.”
Kai Salem, Program Associate, Green Energy Consumer Alliance
“Green Energy Consumers Alliance is a non-profit consumer and environmental advocacy organization based in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We harness the power of our members to speed the transition to a clean energy future. Our transportation system, the largest emissions source in the northeast, must undergo a drastic transformation to become equitable, accessible, and less polluting. We strongly support today’s announcement and the Governors’ intent to pursue a regional transportation strategy as a crucial first step.”
Nancy Goodman, Vice President for Policy, The Environmental League of MA
“We applaud the nine states and DC for committing to working together to reduce transportation emissions and moving us towards a cleaner, greener future.  Committing as a region to designing a market based program holds great promise for environmental, equity and economic benefits.”
Zoe Lipman, Director, Vehicles and Advanced Transportation Program at BlueGreen Alliance
“We applaud the important step taken by these states and Washington, D.C. to address America’s climate and economic challenges, and to help ensure the U.S. leads in the development of the next generation of transportation, vehicles, technology, and infrastructure. With sound design and implementation, the program can not only cut emissions and strengthen communities, but help rebuild American manufacturing and secure and create good paying American jobs for today and tomorrow.”
Jim Madej, CEO of VEIC
“We urgently need to modernize our transportation system to provide people with affordable, reliable transportation solutions that meet their everyday needs and reduce transportation sector emissions,” said Jim Madej, CEO of VEIC. “We commend Governor Phil Scott for taking this historic step to work collaboratively with other leaders across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to address these pressing issues.”
Johanna Miller, Energy and Climate Action Program Director, Vermont Natural Resources Council
“There are tremendous environmental, economic and equity-creating benefits at our fingertips if we get serious about transforming our outdated regional transportation system. We can create a cleaner, more efficient, accessible and affordable 21st century transportation network but we need supportive policy frameworks that drive that innovation and transformation. Broad and bold political leadership is essential and today’s announcement is a positive step forward.”
The Lion Electric Co.
The Lion Electric Co. (Lion) is an innovative manufacturer of zero-emission buses and trucks. With more than 150 electric school buses in North America and over 2 million miles driven,  Lion is paving the way to a healthier and cleaner world for our children, society, and planet. Tony Watkins, Vice President of Sales, mentioned that "This would not be possible without the dedication and help of the different funding agencies and state grants; they are providing schools, transit agencies, and fleets the opportunity to electrify their vehicles and provide a healthy breathing environment to our communities. Each additional Lion vehicle is the equivalent of removing 5 cars on our roads or 23 tons of GHG every year."
Josh Tulkin, Maryland Sierra Club 
“We are thrilled to see Maryland move forward with a regional transportation program to cut the #1 source of climate pollution. With a strong input process, particularly with communities overburdened by transportation pollution and undeserved with our transportation system, we can build clean, equitable, and 21st century ways of getting around. We have already seen a bipartisan cap-and-invest program that has made major strides in reducing pollution and spurring energy efficiency and clean energy in the electricity sector. This program could mean a safer climate, more public transit, walkable and bikeable infrastructure and clean transit jobs for Marylanders.”
Brian O’Malley, President & CEO, Central Maryland Transportation Alliance 
“A great transportation system keeps you and your environment healthy, but that’s not what we have today. TCI can be an important source of critically needed funding to improve cleaner, healthier types of transportation: buses, trains, biking and walking. We are encouraged that Maryland is part of this effort.”
Ramon Palencia-Calvo, Director, Chispa Maryland, Maryland League of Conservation Voters
"This is an exciting time to design a transportation system that is clean, sustainable, and equitable, and benefits all Marylanders. Low income communities and communities of color suffer disproportionately from air pollution that increases the risk of asthma, heart disease, infant mortality, and cancer in these communities. The opportunity of addressing these inequalities while providing transportation solutions will greatly improve the quality of life in these communities. Accessible and affordable housing, well-paying jobs, great schools, and a safe environment are all reasons why this is an opportunity that we cannot miss."
Samuel Jordan, President, Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition
"The Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition urges MDE, MDOT,and MCCC to commit to adopting the goals of Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), particularly an aggressive reduction in harmful pollutants emitted by the public transportation fleet, accompanied by increased use of renewable energy and completion of the Red Line light rail project which programs also provide congestion relief and equitable, economy-boosting transit-oriented-development that cannot be achieved by bus-focused transit and congestion-inducing, environmentally destructive highway expansion programs.”
David McClure, President, Business Agent ATU Local 1300
“Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1300, representing transit workers at Maryland MTA, is pleased that our state is stepping up to the plate on climate change. This coalition of ten states is filling a huge void created by our current president, who apparently doesn't believe in science and ignores the earth's quickly climbing temperatures. Expanding public transportation choices is the best way to control greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. We are proud to play a role in this effort as we continue to move thousands of Maryland residents safely every day.” 
Frank Allen, President, Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT)
“The Transportation and Climate Initiative could have profound implications on preservation of our remaining open spaces, land that can serve as carbon sinks and protect our watersheds – hence the bay and oceans. Any program that prevents new highways or expanded highways prevents additional sprawl with associated increase in impervious surfaces.” 
Cynthia Curtis, Senior Vice President of Sustainability at JLL
“As a global real estate management firm, JLL understands the economic imperative of investing in clean transportation solutions. A market-based approach to modernizing the region’s transportation system will benefit businesses and keep these state economies thriving. We applaud the leadership of these governors and encourage them to be bold in their efforts to tackle emissions and electrify our transportation system.”
Lisa Scannell, Corporate Director of Supply Chain Management at Partners HealthCare
“As an institution committed to the health and wellbeing of our community, Partners HealthCare understands that cutting transport emissions is essential to the region’s economy and the health of its residents. Strong regional policies that will expand transportation options and electrify our transportation system will help improve air quality and mitigate public health impacts.”
Bob Rivers, CEO of Eastern Bank
“Transportation is a critical issue that impacts our economy, environment, and quality of life. Massachusetts needs a 21st century transportation system that is equitable, accessible, climate resilient, and clean. I applaud Gov. Baker’s commitment to collaborate with other Northeast governors to identify bold regional policy solutions to make that a reality.”
Kyle Cahill, Director of Sustainability at John Hancock
“John Hancock applauds Gov. Baker and the participating states for their leadership and commitment to reducing transportation emissions in the region. We believe a clean, reliable, and equitable transportation system is critical for the health and well-being of Massachusetts communities.”
Ethan Garber, CEO of Convoy Solutions
“As a leading provider of a range of emission reduction solutions, we know that if we’re going to fix wasteful aspects of the freight sector and address a problem as seemingly intractable as climate change, we need bold action. We applaud these governors for adopting a regional approach to modernize our roads and rails and reduce transportation emissions, all while spurring innovation and strengthening our economy.”
Ken Locklin, Director at Impax Asset Management
“As a global investor, Impax Asset Management has long understood the business risks that climate change presents, as well as the opportunities that can be found in addressing it. We believe that a market-based approach to reduce emissions from the transportation sector will help Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states mitigate these risks, while strengthening the regional economy, promoting innovation, and driving new investment and job creation.”
Greg Powell, Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Miller/Howard Investments
“As a boutique asset manager with nearly three decades of ESG investing experience and a robust Shareholder Advocacy program, we look forward to the continuing transition towards a lower-emissions transportation sector that relies on electric vehicles and cleaner-burning LNG. We applaud these governors for their support of market-based tools to ease the transition to a low-carbon future.”
Monica Nakielski, Director of Sustainability and Environmental Health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
“As a community-focused, not-for-profit health plan, we believe in the connection between our health and the environment. We’re continually adopting innovative, measurable ways to reduce our impact on the planet, support the well-being of our employees and members, and improve public health, so we fully support this important effort. We all stand to benefit from reduced emissions and a cleaner transportation future.”
Morgan Folger, Director of the Clean Car Communities campaign for Environment America
“We need to accelerate the transition to zero-emission cars, and that means getting charging infrastructure on the ground in our communities as soon as possible. With an absence of leadership at the federal level, state and local action is more important than ever. At the end of the day, nobody wants more pollution, so we should be doing everything we can to make it easier for Americans to drive clean, electric cars.”
David Worthen, CEO of Worthen Industries
"As a New Hampshire-based manufacturer with facilities in multiple states across the region, Worthen Industries understands the importance of a modern and efficient transportation system. We applaud today's announcement from many of the region's governors, and hope that New Hampshire will recognize the great opportunity in working with our neighbors to reduce transportation pollution and investing in the clean transportation system of the future."