Nine US states plus DC make pact on next-gen transport systems and policy
Nine US states plus the District of Columbia have announced they will design a new regional low-carbon transport policy to cap and reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels. Proceeds from the programme will be reinvested into low-carbon and more resilient transportation infrastructure, they said.
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic districts, all members of the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), said they are making environmental and innovation policy in the absence of coordinated direction from the federal government.
The benefits from smarter and cleaner transport systems and vehicles will create economic opportunity and improve “transportation equity” for underserved and overburdened populations, as well as more efficient travel and less pollution, they said in a statement.
The TCI’s new Transportation and slimate Statement has been signed by Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington DC. Each jurisdiction will decide whether to adopt and implement the policy after 2019, when its policy detail has been agreed.
The TCI is a regional collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia seeking to develop the clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions. Its work is facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center.
Among those commenting on the deal, Janet Coit, director of Rhode Island’s department of environmental management, commented: “In the absence of an effective national strategy on climate change, states must innovate and lead to protect the health, safety, and livelihoods of people, communities, and businesses…
“The TCI initiative presents a major, market-based opportunity to develop cleaner transportation systems.”
Meanwhile, Tommy Wells, director of the District of Columbia’s department of energy and environment, said: “We have more work ahead to realise our vision for a safe, clean, and accessible transportation system.
“Our region thrives from being interconnected and we are excited to work with our neighbours and partners up and down the coast to develop regional transportation solutions that will cut carbon, congestion, and air pollution at the same time.”
Among other state commentaries, Rob Klee, commissioner for Connecticut’s department of energy and environmental protection, said: “This will put us on a path to not only decarbonise our transportation networks, but significantly improve them as well.”
Ben Grumbles, secretary of the environment for Maryland, said: “The Hogan Administration remains committed to… exploring innovative solutions to our environmental challenges.”
Matthew Beaton, secretary of Massachusetts’ executive office of energy and environmental affairs, said collaboration was key to “build a more resilient and sustainable transportation system for the next generation.”
Patrick McDonnell, secretary of Pennsylvania’s department of environmental protection, said: “Pennsylvania is a state with abundant alternative energy resources and we look forward to bolstering our efforts to make our transportation systems smarter, more efficient, better for people, and better for the planet.”