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CT joins multi-state program on climate change; possible increase to state gas tax

The multi-jurisdictional program pursues systematic and substantial reductions in motor vehicle pollution
Credit: FOX61

Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, and Mayor Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) committing to a multi-jurisdictional program that pursues systematic and substantial reductions in motor vehicle pollution and re-invests $300 million each year across these jurisdictions in cleaner transit, modern infrastructure, and healthier communities.

The bipartisan Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) will guarantee Connecticut at least a 26% reduction in carbon emissions from transportation from 2022 to 2032, and is anticipated to generate annual revenue of up to $89 million in 2023. 

Gov. Lamont said the state will re-invest these funds in 'equitable and cleaner transportation options', creating an employment program across transit, construction, and green energy, and a catalyst for infrastructure development through the next decade and beyond.

“Engaging in this way with my fellow governors and Mayor Bowser accomplishes goals we have set for Connecticut for years,” Governor Lamont said. “Participating in the TCI-P will help grow our economy through a fresh injection of capital to provide for jobs and new infrastructure. This collaboration will cut our greenhouse gas emissions, and it will make our urban centers healthier, after decades of being adversely impacted by the emissions being released by traffic every day. Connecticut has always taken pride in our leadership role when it comes to climate, and when we can combine that with a stronger economy, fast transit systems, and regional cooperation, that’s a win for all of us.”

Some are concerned over some of the details including a possible gas tax increase, one of the largest in nearly two decades.

Any gas tax measure will likely face opposition in the general assembly.

Senate Republican Leader-elect Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) released the following statement in response to the program: 

"Merry Christmas, Connecticut! On the Monday before Christmas, Gov. Lamont has given a lump of coal to middle-class families. This tax hike will burden middle-class families' budgets at the absolute worst possible time without improving our aging transportation infrastructure. His holiday gift to Connecticut families is new and higher taxes.”

Learn more about the program here.