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.