The Institute for Energy Research (IER) has announced its opposition to the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) and has signed a coalition letter this week expressing solidarity with the citizens in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

The TCI is a regulation scheme targeting transportation fuels in twelve Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. (Note: New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has already said the Granite State will not participate).

A memorandum of understanding was released which aspires to significantly increase energy expenditures in the transportation sector. According to the memorandum, the scheme is to be finalized by the end of 2020 and would go into effect in 2022. The TCI would harm the region’s citizens and state governments should be wary of imposing these unjustified costs.

As described in the coalition letter, “(t)he TCI is intended to make purchasing transportation fuels so painfully expensive that the astronomically high price discourages people from buying it. In short, consumers will have to pay more at the pump to fund increased government spending. Make no mistake, this is a tax. More precisely, it is a carbon dioxide tax being implemented through a gas tax.”

“We,” at IER and the groups representing citizens from across the region, “do not believe that driving to and for work, transporting children to school, transporting goods, going to the grocery store, and all the other necessary activities that generally require a vehicle should be treated by governments as a sin. These are not activities people can, or should be forced to, avoid.”

Thomas Pyle, IER President, issued the following statement:

“Like a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax, the transportation climate initiative will harm everyone in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, families and businesses alike, and provide virtually zero benefit to the environment. They can call it whatever they want to, but they can’t hide the fact that it is a straight up tax on your gasoline.”

“Time and time again, citizens have said no to these intentional fuel price hikes yet they keep resurfacing with new names and promises. If a cleaner environment is our goal we ought to be harnessing the power of the free market, not taxing it to death.”

Alongside IER include organizations from think tanks and concerned citizens groups representing each and every state whose motorists will be impacted by the TCI. The list includes the Yankee Institute, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, Fiscal Partners, the Ethan Allen Institute, the Maryland Public Policy Institute, Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania, the Maine Heritage Policy Center, Unshackle Upstate, the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, the Caesar Rodney Institute, the Garden State Initiative, and other national groups including NFIB, Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens for Limited Taxation, and FreedomWorks.