Center is one of 20 Regional Coalition Partners Formally Opposing the Proposed TCI Gas Tax

Economic Impact Report & Public Poll Soon to be Released

Providence, RI – The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity announced today that it has co-signed a coalition “open letter” opposing the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a proposed interstate compact that would artificially raise gasoline prices under the guise of reducing regional carbon emissions.

The coalition letter, which was signed by 20 free-market organizations from over 12 northeast and mid-Atlantic states, discusses how the recently released TCI memorandum of understanding (MOU), of which Rhode Island was one of only three states to officially endorse, purposefully misleads the public by claiming that minimal price increases at the pump will compel people to drive significantly less. The prior year’s version of the MOU indicated that a much more substantial TCI gas tax of 38 cents per gallon would be required to attain the goals put forth by the extreme environmentalists who crafted the TCI scheme.

“It is clearly obvious that as our state and region struggle to emerge from the crushing economic impact of the pandemic shutdowns, that now is not the time to increase travel and transportation costs for Ocean State families and businesses,” advised Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “Further, as stated in our coalition letter, the TCI gas tax will necessarily hurt poor and rural residents much more severely than their higher income and urban peers.”

The letter concludes that “at its core, TCI is a poor concept that is fundamentally regressive, economically damaging, and places an unnecessary financial burden on people who can least afford it. Please reject it.” Enabling legislation is expected in Rhode Island’s 2021 legislative session.

In the coming weeks, the Center expects to release a TCI economic impact report as well as a public survey poll about Rhode Islanders’ attitudes towards increased gas prices, especially if those taxes return little, if any, environmental benefit.

More information about the proposed TCI gas tax can be found on the Center’s TCI webpage: RIFreedom.org/NoTICtax . 

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