Energy Policy

Video: Understanding the Transportation & Climate Initiative

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Governor Janet Mills is considering entering Maine into the Transportation & Climate Initiative, a regional collaboration of 12 states that would effectively price carbon emissions within Maine’s transportation sector.

The TCI is a cap-and-trade program that forces gasoline and diesel suppliers to purchase allowances for the carbon emitted by their fuel products.

A 2018 study of California’s cap-and-trade program found that when the allowance price is set to $15 per metric ton of carbon, it adds about 13 and 14 cents per gallon to the cost of gasoline and diesel, respectively.

In effect, the TCI is a new tax on gasoline and diesel that would hurt Maine’s most vulnerable citizens.

More than 166,000 Mainers who live in poverty cannot afford a new gas tax, which currently stands at over 30 cents per gallon.

Combined, the state’s existing gas tax and the TCI would account for nearly one-fifth of the price you pay at the pump.

About Maine Heritage Policy Center

The Maine Heritage Center is Maine's pre-eminent free-market policy Think Tank. Based in Portland, MHPC has been advocating for limited government for the people of Maine for more than a decade.

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