Western Massachusetts lawmakers weigh in on TCI deal

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The ‘Transportation Climate Initiative’ aims to reduce the Commonwealth’s carbon emissions, but western Massachusetts lawmakers said they would only support the plan if it improve public transportation in their districts.

Last month Massachusetts and 8 other states agreed on the TCI plan.

When asked about New Hampshire snubbing the deal, Governor Baker doubled down on his request for a regional approach to combating climate change.

“A regional approach to this is the best way to ensure that no one state is advantaged or disadvantaged and at the same time gives us the ability to do something that many of us including Massachusetts are statutorily required to do which is continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by a certain amount by a certain date,” Baker said.

The TCI plan would require local gas stations and fuel distributes to buy permits for contributing to carbon pollution.

Those permits would increase gas prices by an estimated 17-cents per gallon… and could generate more than 500 million dollars in revenue.

Lawmakers in western Massachusetts want to know how the money will benefit their districts before they fully support the plan.

“I wanna see what kinds of offsets are available for drivers in western Massachusetts and then again on that other side of the equation I want to see how that money is going to get spent,” Senator Comerford said.

The Governor does not need legislative approval to pass the plan, but western Massachusetts lawmakers will be able to voice their opinions on the deal before it goes into effect.

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