Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

MA Ballot Initiative to Ban Fuel Tax Gets Pushback

Play

Friday, September 3, 2021   

BOSTON -- Advocates for clean transportation are fighting a proposed ballot initiative, which would prevent Massachusetts from taxing gas and other fuels.

The ballot initiative is in response to the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) supported by Gov. Charlie Baker, a multistate commitment to a "cap and invest" policy in which fossil-fuel-emitting power plants, gas and diesel suppliers pay for the emissions they generate.

Josh Ostroff, interim director of Transportation for Massachusetts, said dropping the gas tax would do more than reject the TCI program, and contended it would put a huge portion of the Commonwealth's transportation funding at risk.

"If this ballot question takes away that revenue source, then we're going to have to find another way to repair our roads and bridges, to fund public transportation, and to make the kinds of repairs and upgrades in the face of climate change," Ostroff pointed out.

Environmental groups have also criticized TCI for not going far enough, and not focusing on communities on the front lines of the climate crisis.

But Ostroff argued there are other ways to bypass TCI, without wiping out a billion dollars in transportation funding. Backers of the initiative are now gathering signatures, after the Attorney General cleared it as technically constitutional.

Ostroff added powerful interests are supporting the ballot initiative, including the petroleum industry, but he asserted it is important to limit fossil-fuel emissions, especially on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recent report calling climate change a "Code Red for humanity."

"The 90-degree-plus days we've had across Massachusetts, or the amount of rainfall that we've had and the catastrophic storms that we've experienced, show that human-caused climate change is truly a crisis that threatens the well-being of every community and every person," Ostroff remarked.

He noted many areas have structurally deficient bridges, hundreds of miles of substandard roads and inadequate bus service, and warned losing the state's gas-tax revenue would only allow problems to worsen.


get more stories like this via email
In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…


Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …


The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

Methane released into the atmosphere is responsible for at least 25% of current global warming, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. (permianmap.org)

Environment

Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

Health and Wellness

Even for Virginians who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021