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NY Pushing Ahead with Clean-Transportation Initiative

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With the Transportation and Climate Initiative, revenue paid by gasoline and oil companies for pollution will help fund clean-power infrastructure such as electric car charging stations. (dandaman/Adobe Stock)
With the Transportation and Climate Initiative, revenue paid by gasoline and oil companies for pollution will help fund clean-power infrastructure such as electric car charging stations. (dandaman/Adobe Stock)
December 28, 2020

NEW YORK -- New York has committed to continuing work toward a regional agreement to tackle the nation's biggest source of greenhouse-gas emissions: the transportation sector.

In a joint statement, eleven Eastern states and the District of Columbia have reaffirmed their commitment to launching the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCIP).

Lauren Bailey, director of climate policy for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said last year, when New York passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, it sent a clear signal to other states in the region about the emission-reduction goals the state feels must be met.

"With New York still at the table on the Transportation and Climate Initiative policy, what we can expect to see are those same rigorous standards applied to this program," Bailey explained.

She noted by helping to cut carbon pollution from transportation fuels by at least 30% in 12 years, the TCIP would be a key part of New York's emission-reduction strategy.

Bailey pointed out the TCIP will require companies selling gasoline and oil to pay for the pollution they cause, and invest those funds in clean, accessible and equitable transportation infrastructure such as electric busses and charging stations for cars and trucks.

"This is a huge, multiple stakeholder process," Bailey maintained. "And this is a mechanism that will be able to give us money to do what we need to do over the next decade and possibly beyond that."

Like New York's climate-protection law, the TCIP will invest at least 35% of those funds in projects that benefit historically marginalized communities.

Bailey said the states participating in the TCIP process now are working out the enabling policies and regulations they will need to have in place to enter the program.

"We're very excited to see that coming out likely early next year," Bailey anticipated. "And we'll have a better sense even further of the day-to-day logistical items that will be needed to make TCI realistic."

Full implementation of the initiative is expected in 2023.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY