Three trade groups representing the retail fuels industry ─ NATSO, representing the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas, the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America─encouraged Northeastern states to reconsider the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) and instead focus on climate change policies that will achieve more meaningful environmental benefits without imposing exorbitant costs on low- and middle-income Americans.
“The retail fuels industry is encouraged by policymakers who take seriously the threat of climate change and craft policy designed to mitigate the threat for all Americans,” the groups said in a joint statement. “The retail fuels industry has been active, productive advocates for clean fuel policies for more than a decade. We know what types of policies result in greater consumption of alternative fuels, and what types of policies do not. The TCI program, as currently constructed, will not work. The program will result in higher costs without any meaningful environmental benefit. These higher costs will be most acutely felt by the northeast region’s low-income communities. There are more effective ways to commercialize alternative fuel technologies. We hope to be productive participants in future TCI discussions.”
In a letter to Kathleen Theoharides, Chair of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, the groups said that TCI:
- Injects substantial pricing and administrative complexities into the retail fuels market, without making alternative fuels, including electricity, more desirable for consumers;
- Increases fuel prices and places a regressive tax upon low-income Americans, who spend a far greater percentage of their income on energy needs;
- Intensifies the economic uncertainty and hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the price that consumers will pay for fuel and ultimately increasing household spending during a time of unprecedented job losses and diminished GDP.