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States Announce Regional Clean Transportation Initiative

Thu January 03, 2019 - Northeast Edition #1
Natural Resources Defense Council


These 10 members of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) will begin crafting policies and programs to address their transportation challenges, improve mobility, provide more transportation options and curb the largest source of pollution that contributes to climate change.
These 10 members of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) will begin crafting policies and programs to address their transportation challenges, improve mobility, provide more transportation options and curb the largest source of pollution that contributes to climate change.

Leading environmental, scientific, transportation, health and business organizations working to advance modern, clean, equitable and low-carbon transportation celebrated an announcement Dec. 18 from nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic governors and the Mayor of Washington, D.C., to move forward with a regional clean transportation initiative.

These 10 members of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) will now transition from a year-long public comment phase, which engaged communities, businesses and stakeholders across the region, to begin crafting policies and programs to address their transportation challenges, improve mobility, provide more transportation options and curb the largest source of pollution that contributes to climate change.

This announcement marks the next big step for a handful of states and the District of Columbia that pledged to begin development of a regional policy during the Bonn Climate Change Summit in November 2017. With the addition of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, the regional clean transportation initiative is demonstrating growth and strong momentum that could prompt more states to join in support of a regional plan.

Leading transportation policy experts commented on the recent announcement by the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont, and the mayor of Washington, D.C.

Bruce Ho, senior advocate, climate and clean energy, Natural Resources Defense Council, said "Our transportation system is in crisis, and fixing decades of neglect will require strong, aggressive leadership at all levels of government. This commitment from Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to transform and modernize our aging transportation — from cleaner cars and trucks to more efficient buses, trains, and walkable and bikeable communities — will make us safer and healthier and help meet the transportation needs of all residents. We stand ready to work with governors and stakeholders across the region to advance this bold, bipartisan commitment."

"These nine states and the District of Columbia inspire us all with this ambitious, regional, bi-partisan plan to tackle one of the biggest challenges — cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by transitioning to clean transportation. Were these states a country, it would be the world's fifth-largest economy, just behind Germany," said Ken Kimmell, president, Union of Concerned Scientists. "These states help reassure an anxious world that the United States is still in the fight, while meeting the pressing needs of their residents who want clean, reliable, affordable transportation options. UCS applauds the governors and other leaders who have taken this step, and we will work with them and a diverse set of stakeholders to bring this proposed plan over the finish line."

"As climate pollution rises, it's more important than ever that state leaders take action to address climate change — and that's exactly what the Northeast is doing," said Mark Kresowik, regional deputy director, Sierra Club. "Developing a modern, clean transportation system by expanding access to electric vehicles, public transit, and walkable and bikeable communities will save lives, create new jobs, and help people get where they're going faster. That's why there's overwhelming public support for action."