For Earth Day, “No TCI Gas Tax” Letter Sent to Governor McKee by 12 Advocacy Organizations and Citizens Groups

Massive Burdens on Businesses & Families with No Environmental Benefit

   

Providence, RI – On Earth Day 2021 (April 20-22), a coalition of 12 advocacy and citizens groups joined the Center’s prior call on Governor Daniel McKee to withdraw Rhode Island from the controversial TCI Gas Tax regional compact, ostensibly designed to reduce carbon emissions, but, which in reality, is nothing more than a pure money grab.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, authors of the open letter, thanked McKee for his prior voiced support for the small business community. The coalition’s letter went on to point out how artificial new fuel taxes, the goal of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI), would create large and unnecessary costs on the private sector – for no environmental benefit.

With a TCI Gas Tax bill expected to be submitted soon, after former Governor Raimondo signed-on to the TCI scheme in 2020, the 12 group coalition also called on the current Governor to pledge to veto any related legislation.

“The dishonesty of TCI proponents is alarming,” claimed the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “They falsely claim they can achieve major emissions reductions with a minor gas tax. In reality, the multi-year plan would raise fuel taxes by 40 to 50 cents per gallon … and would do virtually nothing to reduce global carbon emissions.”

The letter cited studies and public polls demonstrating that the highly regressive gas tax, and the projected $1200 per family cost, are highly unpopular among the public. A petition opposing TCI has already generated over 10,000 emails to state lawmakers.

The coalition letter also discusses the competitive advantage the Ocean State would enjoy regionally by not joining the TCI compact and keeping fuel taxes where they are.

The letter concludes it appeal to McKee by stating: “Withdrawing our state from TCI would be a terrific first-step and would send a strong signal that you are serious about improving our state’s dismal business climate.”

In March, the Center unilaterally called on McKee to withdraw from TCI. After receiving strong support, this larger coalition effort was put together.

The entire letter and a listing of all 12 coalition signatories can be found here.

Motorists

MEDIA RELEASE: Center Urges Motorists to Join in Call to Stop the TCI Gas Tax

Center Launches Campaign for Ocean State Motorists to “SAY NO” to TCI Gas Taxes

Providence, RI – The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity announced today that it has launched its “Say NO to the TCI Gas Tax” campaign, including an online form, whereby Ocean State motorists can petition the state lawmakers to reject the regional gasoline cap-and-trade scheme, known as the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI).

The simple form, once completed at www.RIFreedom.org/TCI-action, will automatically send an email to the Governor and to legislative leaders. Social media advertising, to raise awareness of how state residents can take action, has already begun.

A January report by the Center estimated that the TCI Gas Tax would cost the average family an extra $1200 per year in increased fuel, food, and retail product prices.

“As our state struggles to recover from the pandemic, and while Biden administration policies are already driving up the price of gasoline, it should be unthinkable that state lawmakers would choose this time to plan an additional 30-40 cents per gallon gas tax increase ,” warned Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “People who drive their cars are not ‘bad guys’ as some government officials believe.”

A leaked video caught a Massachusetts government climate official overtly stating that people who drive cars, like “seniors on fixed incomes” are “bad guys” who need to have “the screws turned on them” so as to “break their will.”

The petition email in part states; Along with the 7 in 10 Ocean Staters, per a January public poll, who oppose TCI once they learn of its high cost:

  • I oppose the TCI gas tax scheme, designed to make gasoline prices so high that I will be forced to drive less, and so that “gasoline will go away.”
  • I am not willing to pay major new gas taxes at the pump and for increased prices of vehicle delivered goods, especially when there is virtually no environmental benefit.
  • I believe Rhode Islanders should be free to choose the energy options that best fit our lives.

Earlier this week, the Center formally called on Governor McKee to withdraw Rhode Island from the regional TCI compact that former Governor Raimondo signed the state up for.

In December, former Governor Gina Raimondo signed-on Rhode Island, just one of three states to do so, to the TCI Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU). Implementation of TCI would lead to a significant increase in automobile and diesel gasoline prices for motorists, while also systematically limiting regional supplies of vehicle fuel.

More information about the proposed TCI gas tax can be found on the Center’s TCI webpage: RIFreedom.org/NoTCItax. The Center is one of over two-dozen organizations in the northeast working cooperatively to defeat TCI in their respective states.

We call on Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee to officially withdraw from the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) Gas Tax.

Center Calls on Gov. Daniel McKee to Withdraw RI from TCI

Center Calls on McKee to Withdraw R.I. from Raimondo’s Transportation & Climate Initiative Action

Providence, RI – The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity calls on the newly sworn-in Governor of Rhode Island, Daniel McKee, to officially withdraw the Ocean State from the regional gasoline cap-and-trade scheme, known as the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI).

“For years as Lieutenant Governor, Dan McKee expressed verbal support for the small business community. Now is the time for the Governor to take action and to separate himself from his predecessor’s anti-business policies. The Governor should immediately put to rest any notion that his administration will impose a job-killing, budget-destroying gasoline tax on businesses and families who are struggling to recover from the pandemic,” commented Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “Today, our Center calls on the Governor to take executive action to formally withdraw Rhode Island from the TCI compact.”

In December, former Governor Gina Raimondo signed-on Rhode Island, just one of three states to do so, to the TCI Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU). Implementation of TCI would lead to a significant increase in automobile and diesel gasoline prices, while also systematically limiting regional supplies of vehicle fuel.

In calling on Governor Daniel McKee to eschew the costly TCI gas tax, the Center points to research and polling that shows why TCI is poor public policy:

  • Rhode Islanders are not “bad guys” that should be punished for driving their vehicles, as one gov’t official in Mass. expressed
  • The regressive TCI gas tax would disproportionately harm low-income families
  • The high economic costs and job losses would further hamper our state’s faltering economy, with virtually no environmental benefit in return
  • An overwhelming majority of polled Ocean Staters do not support TCI, once they understand the high costs
  • A TCI gas tax would make our state even less competitive, by weakening our already worst-in-the-nation business climate

Later this week, the Center will announce a public campaign to petition the Governor and state legislative leaders to reject the TCI compact.

More information about the proposed TCI gas tax can be found on the Center’s TCI webpage: RIFreedom.org/NoTCItax . The Center is one of over two-dozen organizations in the northeast working cooperatively to defeat TCI in their respective states.

POLL: Rhode Islanders say “No” to high costs of TCI Gas Tax

Rhode Islanders Reject Notion of Higher Gas Taxes as Solution to Reduce Carbon Emissions
Support for TCI Crumbles as Residents Learn of Negative Economic Impacts #NoTCITax

Providence, RI – Struggling to recover from the pandemic lockdowns, almost 20% more Rhode Islanders oppose than support the plan for a new TCI gas tax as a solution to reduce carbon emissions, after learning of its potential negative economic impacts on lower-income families and on their own financial security. 

According to a recent poll conducted by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, initial conceptual support for the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) drops significantly when voters learn the policy will result in gas tax hikes, a significant projected loss of jobs, and a major reduction in the average family’s disposable income. 

Rhode Islanders oppose TCI when they learn about its high costs – including a $0.23 increase in the gas tax, an estimated 2,000 jobs lost, and a $1,200 reduction in disposable income for the average Rhode Island family.

  • Support for TCI falls from 42.0% (total of voters who strongly or somewhat support TCI) to 29.6% when voters learn of the projected negative economic impacts.
  • Opposition to TCI rises from 35.8% to 48.6%.

Concern over TCI’s negative economic impact is universal.

  • Support among Democrats falls from 62.2% to 41.8%
  • Opposition from independents/unaffiliated votes rises to 55% (from 45%) after learning of the high costs; support falls from 31.5% to 23%.
  • Support among younger voters falls from 52.3% to 33.1%

Rhode Islanders also fear that TCI’s economic impact will be disproportionately felt by low-income families and commuters.

  • 48% feel that TCI will “disproportionately affect commuters and low-income families.”

“Rhode Islanders clearly feel, after all we’ve been through, that now is not the time to punish people for driving their vehicles,” commented the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “On the flip side, by not adopting this TCI scheme and keeping gas taxes where they are, our Ocean State would gain a competitive advantage over our Massachusetts and Connecticut neighbors.” 

Results are based on a survey of 500 voters statewide fielded January 22-24, 2021 that included questions dedicated to TCI. Interviews were conducted by both live operators and collected online via text message. The margin of error is +/- 4.4% with a 95% confidence level. The poll was sponsored by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity and conducted by Advantage, Inc

TCI is a proposed interstate compact, officially endorsed by soon to be former Governor Gina Raimondo, that would artificially raise gasoline prices under the guise of reducing regional carbon emissions. Enabling legislation for TCI is expected in Rhode Island’s 2021 legislative session.  

Last week, the Center published a 10-page report, The Effects of a TCI-Style Gas Tax on Motor Fuels in Rhode Island, which calculates that the total social costs of such a gas tax would be 105 times more severe than the anticipated social benefits. Under TCI in Rhode Island, global carbon emissions would be reduced by an insignificant 0.00016%. 

Last month, the Center was one of 20 co-signers of an open regional coalition letter, which concluded 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.” 

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

Center Publishes TCI Economic Impact Report on Same Day Raimondo Auditions for U.S. Commerce Secretary

Center Publishes TCI Economic Impact Report

Negative Costs Over 100 Times More Severe than the Benefits #NoTCItax

Providence, RI – As the state struggles to recover from the crushing economic lockdowns imposed by Governor Gina Raimondo, who today is the subject of confirmation hearings for the cabinet position of U.S. Secretary of commerce, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity published a report detailing the significant negative economic impact on the Rhode Island economy should the state approve participation in the controversial Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). TCI is a proposed interstate compact, officially endorsed by Raimondo, that would artificially raise gasoline prices under the guise of reducing regional carbon emissions.

The 10-page report, The Effects of a TCI Gas Tax on Motor Fuels in Rhode Island, calculates that the total social costs of such a gas tax would be 105 times more severe than the anticipated social benefits. Under TCI in Rhode Island, global carbon emissions would be reduced by an insignificant 0.00016%. “The obvious purpose behind this TCI scheme is not environmental – it’s nothing more than a greedy money grab,” suggested the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse.

The report, researched and co-published by The Beacon Hill Institute in Massachusetts using its state tax analysis modeling program (STAMP), concluded: 

We find that the imposition of a carbon (or TCI) tax on motor fuels would produce a  less-competitive business environment, resulting in a slower-growing economy that  produces lower employment, disposable income, and investment. While the revenue generated under a carbon tax could be used to create new jobs, any new jobs would be created at the expense of the private sector.

Per the report, if TCI were implemented in 2022, within 5 years, the Ocean State would suffer:

  • A per family loss of disposable income of $1205/yr ($815 million overall)
  • A loss of 1856 state-based jobs
  • Reduced business investment of $826 million
  • A loss of state GDP of $416 million

“After all that the people of our state have been through this past year, for government now to punish people for driving their vehicles, is just flat out cruel, especially for lower-income families,” added Stenhouse. “In seeking to control and restrict the energy choices of businesses and residents, potentially leading to fuel shortages and long gas lines, these far-left unelected bureaucrats will give Americans another reason not to reside or work in Rhode Island.”

The Center’s report also listed multiple examples of failed carbon tax efforts in the U.S. and across the globe.

Earlier this month, the Center was one of 20 co-signers of an open regional coalition letter, which concluded 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.” 

Enabling legislation for TCI is expected in Rhode Island’s 2021 legislative session. In the coming weeks, the Center expects to release a public survey poll about Rhode Islanders’ attitudes towards increased gas prices, especially when those taxes result in 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 . 

Virginia Valentine: TCI Compact Crumbling as Virginia Gives Love, Says No to New Gas Taxes

Virginia Gives Some Valentine’s Day Love to Old Dominion Motorists

Providence, RI – Families and businesses in the state of Virginia were given a dose of Valentine’s Day love this week, when political leaders announced that the state would not join the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) compact this year, saving Old Dominion motorists from paying up to 17 cents more per gallon of gas.

Additionally, because of the work of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity and its partners in the #NoTCItax regional coalition to raise awareness in their respective states, New Hampshire had previously withdrawn from the compact, while the governors of Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont have also expressed opposition to new carbon taxes. In Rhode Island, the Speaker of the House, Nicholas Mattiello, along with 24 other lawmakers, have publicly stated their opposition to the TCI Gas Tax cap-and-trade system. In Massachusetts, lawmakers are reported as considering less intrusive alternatives.

And now in Virginia, its Secretary of Natural Resources, Matt Strickler, is on record saying his state won’t even consider joining TCI for at least another year. Yet despite the crumbling support from northeast states, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondodoes not appear ready to give up on this unpopular scheme. 

“The Governor will instigate a major political and legal fight if she attempts to impose a major new gas tax by bypassing the General Assembly by taking unauthorized executive action,” said Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “Ocean State families and businesses should not be punished for driving their personal cars and business vehicles.”

In December, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity joined 17 other free-market organizations in sending an open letter to Governor Raimondo and Ocean State lawmakers asking them to reject this TCI gas tax scheme. In January, the entire group met in Boston.

Last month, the Center published a TCI Question & Answer document on the proposed TCI gas tax. The TCI Q&A, the TCI Open Letter, the TCI Gas Tax policy brief, and other related information can be found at RIFreedom.org/NoTCITax.

Center’s Work with Regional Coalition Has Backed TCI Proponents Into a Corner

Center Participates In Regional Meeting Involving 10 States to  Oppose the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI)

Providence, RI – It is not by accident that the proposed Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) is losing support among many of the states it has targeted … to the point where some proponents are considering a Plan-B.

Last week, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse, traveled to Boston to meet with other organizations from east coast states who oppose TCI, a regional compact targeting 12 states and Washington DC that seeks to impose a 5 to 17 cent per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, with the intent of forcing Rhode Island to drive less often and into more costly and less convenient electric vehicles and public transportation options.

Because of the work of the #NoTCItaxcoalition to raise awareness in their respective states, New Hampshire has already withdrawn from the compact, while the governors of Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont have also expressed opposition to new carbon taxes. In Rhode Island, the Speaker of the House, Nicholas Mattiello, has publicly stated that he is opposed to the TCI Gas Tax. In Massachusetts, lawmakers are reported as considering less intrusive alternatives.

Alongside our New England colleagues from the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, Ethan Allen Institute, Maine Heritage Policy Center, Yankee Institute, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire, and Maine Policy – as well as a number of organizations in other northeast states – Stenhouse participated in a downtown Boston press conference where each organization  had the opportunity to outline why TCI is a bad idea for their state and why we believe it will ultimately fail. 

Check out the Boston Herald’s coverage of the press conference here.

At the event, covered by about 8 members of the Massachusetts media, Stenhouse stated that Rhode Islanders should not be purposefully punished for for driving their personal autos or business vehicles in the normal course of their lives.

In December, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity joined 17 other free-market organizations in sending an open letter to Governor Raimondo and Ocean State lawmakers asking them to reject this TCI gas tax scheme.

Last week, the Center published a TCI Question & Answer document the proposed TCI gas tax. The TCI Q&A, the TCI Open Letter, the TCI Gas Tax policy brief, and other related information can be found at RIFreedom.org/NoTCITax.

Gas Tax

What Rhode Islanders should know about the TCI Gas Tax Q & A about the Transportation & Climate Initiative

Analysis by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity

On December 17 the Georgetown Law Center, in cooperation with the Raimondo administration in Rhode Island and other regional state governments, published its Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) draft Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU). It will be open for on-line comments until February 28. At some point after that, Governor Raimondo is expected to initiate a process for our state to officially join the TCI regional compact. 

The original plan was to seek legislative approval to enact some provisions to make TCI enforceable on Rhode Island fuel dealers. However, with bi-partisan opposition building in the state for this stealth gas tax, it is unclear if the Governor will attempt to act solely by “executive” authority and attempt to bypass the General Assembly. 

Here are some questions and answers that will explain what the TCI proposed policy is, and what it expects to do.

Q: What is TCI? 

TCI is a multistate regional agreement designed to drive up the price of motor fuel (gasoline and on-road diesel).  It proposes to start at five, nine or seventeen cents per gallon, and escalate upward from that, with no declared maximum.

Q: Why do TCI backers and climate alarmists want to drive up the price of motor fuel? 

Because they are convinced that “climate change poses a clear, present, and increasingly dangerous threat to the communities and economic security” Rhode Island and other regional states. The MOU says that the participating states will “need to implement bold initiatives to mitigate the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector,” which produce 40% of human-caused emissions. 

Q: This sounds familiar. Isn’t this TCI attack on transportation just an extension of “RhodeMapRI”?

Yes. While much of our Center’s years-ago battle against RhodeMapRI focused on property rights, it has always been the goal of the left’s larger “sustainability” objectives to restrict and reduce the use of personal autos and business vehicles.

Q: How will TCI drive down those emissions? 

By driving up the price of gasoline and diesel fuel so you will be financially forced to drive less, drive smaller cars, use electric vehicles, walk, ride bicycles, use public transportation, move closer to school and work, and so on.

Q: How does TCI drive up motor fuel prices?  

TCI creates a “cap and invest” system, or what we call a ‘cap-and-trade’ carbon tax scheme. TCI sets a cap, or limit, on carbon dioxide emissions from burning regular and diesel motor fuel. Every distributor of motor fuel – many dozens in Rhode Island – will be required to purchase “allowances” to match the motor fuel sold during each reporting period.

Q: So motorists, including passenger cars, pickups, SUVs, vans, school buses, delivery trucks, contractor vehicles, milk tankers, ambulances, state and municipal trucks, and motorcycles will end up paying for the allowances?  

Yes, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly at the gas pump.

Q: Won’t TCI hit hardest on working people and the poor, especially in our state’s rural areas? 

Yes. As a regressive tax, the TCI Gas Tax will disproportionately harm low-income families, especially those who live some distance from commercial centers or their workplace.

Q: What does the state get for imposing these costs on motorists? 

TCI will distribute among the participating states some fraction of the revenue from its sale of “allowances”, per a yet to be determined formula. The states are supposed to use these revenues to further drive down gasoline and on-road diesel use, and “help their residents transition to affordable, low-carbon transportation options”. Paying people to buy electric cars and funding more mass transit systems, are examples of how your gas money might be spent. However, it appears that a designated state agency will have final say on how the funds are spent, not the General Assembly.

Q: How many “allowances” will TCI issue? 

As many – or as few – as it sees fit. In ceding ‘taxing’ authority to a regional entity, TCI, in essence creates a shadow governmentof unelected bureaucrats who can unilaterally decide how much of a ‘gas tax’ motorists should pay in Rhode Island and in other states.

TCI can invent allowances out of thin air anytime its ideologues want to further punish motorists. Motor fuel distributors will be forced to go into TCI’s auction market to buy enough of them with real money to match their motor fuel deliveries over a preceding reporting period. 

The cost of these “allowances”, which will necessarily increase as the allowable supply is systematically reduced, will be passed on to motorists in the form of continually increasing gas prices that you will be forced to pay at the pump.

Q: How much will the preferred TCI scenario reduce carbon dioxide emissions from motor fuel? 

The Josiah Bartlett Center in New Hampshire analyzed the TCI economic model. It found that the “reference case” used by the Georgetown Climate Center to project what would happen from 2022 to 2032 if states did notimplement the TCI would likely be a 19% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, due to technological advances and existing fuel regulations. 

If TCI isimplemented, regional emissions are only projected to fall by an additional 1% to 6%, on top of the presumed 19% reduction. In short, TCI would extract $56 billionregionally from motor fuel users to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a little more than 5 percent over ten years.  

Q: Will the reduction of emissions projected by TCI actually reduce “climate change”?

No, not in any measurable way. In fact, using the United Nation’s own climate change modeling tool, MAGICC, the effect of the TCI regional compact, even if implemented across the entire region until the year 2100, would produce ZEROimpact(out to 3 decimal places) on global temperatures.


Q: What is the Cost-vs-Benefit calculation for TCI?

Miserable. Why should Ocean Staters be forced to pay for something that will produce no environmental benefit?

Like most all prescriptions by environmental radicals, TCI would have a net-negative impact on state economies without any corresponding benefit. Our Center’s policy brief on TCI describes the negative impact another cap-and-trade compact (on electricity) that Rhode Island joined 2007, RGGI (the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative), has resulted in clear economic losses for participating RGGI states.

Q: Gov. Gina Raimondo has steadfastly advocated that this stealth TCI tax on gas is needed to “save the planet”. Doesn’t the General Assembly have the sole authority to impose taxes?

Yes, that’s what most constitutional experts assert. If she attempts to act unilaterally via executive power, and bypass the General Assembly, the Governor would certainly be inviting a lawsuit over Constitutional separation of powers.

Already, New Hampshire’s governor has rejected the TCI carbon tax scheme, while the governors of Vermont and Connecticut have openly expressed skepticism about carbon taxes and TCI.

Q: Sounds like TCI is actually a “sin tax,” is that true?

Yes, pretty much. TCI seeks to punish people for using personal and business vehicles in the course of their everyday lives. The climate extremists who created TCI believe that it is a sinfor you to drive to work, take your children to school, visit family, take your car shopping, or deliver goods or services … we do not!

Q: What can I do to voice my views on the stealth TCI Gas Tax? 

You can read more about TCI on our Center’s webpage – www.RIFreedom.org/TCI– where you will be directed to sign a #NoTCItax petition and/or comment directly on the TCI website. 

Rhode Island Transportation cost could be going up.

Ahead of State of the State Address, Center Publishes TCI Gas Tax Q&A

What Every Rhode Islander Should Know About the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI)

Providence, RI – With Governor Raimondo expected to address climate change in her annual “State of the State Address” this evening, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity today published a Question & Answer document about the carbon tax “cap and trade” regional compact she is advancing – the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI).

With four of the six New England state Governors publicly stating major concerns about TCI, if not outright rejection, and with Speaker Mattiello also expressing opposition, Governor Raimondo remains stubbornly committed to a scheme developed by radical environmentalists that purposefully seeks to make gasoline so expensive that Rhode Island motorists will be forced to drive less often.

Titled, ‘What Rhode Islanders Should Know About the TCI Gas Tax’, the Q&A document answers commonly asked questions about the objectives of TCI, how it works, and how it will impact Ocean State families and businesses. Initial details of the regional Transportation & Climate Initiative gas tax plan were released in December.

“The Governor may try to sugar-coat TCI in her address this evening, but Rhode Islanders should not be fooled; this is a crushing new tax on the budgets of families and businesses,” said the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “Hard-working Rhode Islanders should not be purposefully punished for driving their kids to school, going to work, visiting family, going shopping, or delivering goods and services.”

With opposition mounting among state lawmakers, it is unclear if Governor Raimondo, who says TCI is necessary to “save our planet”, may seek to unilaterally impose the TCI gas tax on Ocean State motorists and truckers, or if she will seek legislative approval. The final TCI plan is expected in the early spring of 2020, when executive or legislative action could initiate.

The Center, part of a 12-state #NoTICtax coalition that will meet this Friday in Boston, signed an Open TCI Letter in December along with partners from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia, Vermont, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC.

The Center’s policy brief released last month, the TCI Tax, lays out the ‘diabolical’ goals of TCI, a green-new-deal type program whose goal is to make gasoline so expensive that it will “go away”. Like all far-left contrivances to reduce carbon-gas emissions, the TCI gas tax will harm economic growth and will take money out of the pockets of residents, while failing to meet its stated environmental goals. The policy brief discusses in detail the many reasons why our Rhode Island should not join the TCI compact, including:

  • In Rhode Island, with its already dismal business climate and exodus of people to lower-cost states, families and businesses cannot afford a significant new gas tax
  • The failure of a similar regional scheme on electricity, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, has driven up consumer costs; has resulted in no added greenhouse gas reductions; and has caused economic harm. There is every reason to believe TCI will also produce a negative cost vs. benefit result. 
  • The Governor should not try to bypass the Constitutional authority of the General Assembly by unilaterally seeking to impose this new gas tax
  • Rhode Island could gain a significant competitive advantage in the region by refusing to sign-on to the TCI tax scheme by being able to offer lower-priced gasoline products
  • There are many less disruptive and more efficient ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • State and national legal challenges may result, along a number of potential Constitutional angle

The TCI Q&A, the TCI Open Letter, the TCI Gas Tax policy brief, and other related information can be found at RIFreedom.org/NoTCITax.

Center Signs Coalition Letter to Oppose Regional TCI Gas Tax

18 Regional Advocacy Groups Issue Open Coalition Letter Opposing TCI Regional Gas Tax Plan

Providence, RI – The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity today joins with a dozen-and-a-half other pro-freedom groups in northeast states to co-sign a regional coalition “open letter” that opposes the regional carbon tax “cap and trade” compact that will significantly raise gas prices at the pump, known as the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI)

The TCI Open Letter discusses how the TCI gas tax is “the equivalent of a sin tax – a penalty for engaging in bad behavior” (driving), as defined by radical environmentalists.

“Hard-working Rhode Islanders should not be purposefully punished for driving their kids to school, going to work, visiting family, going shopping, or delivering goods and services,” said the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “We are proud to stand with our coalition partners in opposing this stealth tax on gas. Our coalition letter points out how the TCI Gas Tax will especially harm low-income and rural families.”

Initial details of the regional TCI gas tax plan, openly supported by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and being considered in 11 other New England and mid-Atlantic states, are expected to be released later today; however the TCI framework has been previously made public. The TCI gasoline tax scheme will be similar to the regional electricity tax cap-and-trade compact already in existence, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), in which Rhode Island has been a member since 2007.

It is unclear if Governor Raimondo will seek to unilaterally impose the TCI gas tax on Ocean State motorists and truckers, or if she will seek legislative approval. The final TCI plan is expected in the early spring of 2020, when executive or legislative action will take place. 

In addition to Rhode Island, the Open TCI Letter was co-signed by #NoTCITax regional and national coalition partners from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia, Vermont, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC. 

The Center’s policy brief released earlier this month – The TCI Tax – details the ‘diabolical’ goals of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI), a green-new-deal type program whose goal is to make gasoline so expensive that it will “go away”. Like all far-left contrivances to reduce carbon-gas emissions, including RGGI, the TCI gas tax will harm economic growth and will take money out of the pockets of residents, while failing to meet its stated environmental goals.

The policy brief discusses in detail the many reasons why our state should not join the TCI compact, including:

  • In Rhode Island, with its already dismal business climate and exodus of people to lower-cost states, families and businesses cannot afford a significant new gas tax
  • The failure of a similar regional scheme on electricity, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, has driven up consumer costs; has resulted in no added greenhouse gas reductions; and has caused economic harm. There is every reason to believe TCI will also produce a negative cost vs. benefit result. 
  • The Governor should not try to bypass the Constitutional authority of the General Assembly by unilaterally seeking to impose this new gas tax
  • Rhode Island could gain a significant competitive advantage in the region by refusing to sign-on to the TCI tax scheme by being able to offer lower-priced gasoline products
  • There are many less disruptive and more efficient ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • State and national legal challenges may result, along a number of potential Constitutional angle

The TCI Open Letter, the TCI Gas Tax policy brief, and other related information can be found at RIFreedom.org/NoTCITax. #NoTCITax