TCI Is a 17¢ Per Gallon Carbon Tax

December 18, 2019

by Rob Roper

On December 17th, the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) released its draft memorandum of understanding to the twelve potentially participating states and the District of Columbia. That number dropped by one when, within hours, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced the Granite State wanted no part of what would essentially be a 17 cent tax on gasoline and diesel fuel.

With his rejection of the proposal, Sununu said, “I will not force Granite Staters to pay more for their gas just to subsidize other states’ crumbling infrastructure. New Hampshire is already taking substantial steps to curb our carbon emissions, and this initiative, if enacted, would institute a new gas tax by up to 17 cents per gallon while only achieving minimal results. This program is a financial boondoggle and the people of New Hampshire will never support it.” (Boston Herald, 12/17/19)

Now Vermonters want to know where Governor Scott stands. Scott said recently that if TCI is indeed a Carbon Tax, he will not support it. And, in 2016, during a debate with his then opponent Sue Minter, Scott argued forcefully that a regional, cap & trade program targeting transportation fuels based on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — which is exactly what TCI is — “sounds like” a Carbon tax! Here’s the video:

Scott v. Minter on TCI

Governor Scott must now consider not only his past and present campaign promises, but also the fact that with New Hampshire not participating, Vermont stores that sell motor fuel along the New Hampshire border will be at an even greater competitive disadvantage than they are now given the sales tax disparities (New Hampshire doesn’t have one). And, Vermont businesses that rely on motor fuels to do their work will also be at a competitive disadvantage.

Governor Scott has been on the right side of this issue from the beginning. Why would he wait to make an announcement? Perhaps he’s waiting for more of his political opponents to go on the record supporting what is a politically unpopular, economically foolish policy.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Donald Eatmon December 18, 2019 at 7:36 pm

NO, NO, NO on this!!!
Another tax for nothing.


Ted Robinson December 20, 2019 at 10:51 pm

I’ll be crossing over the bridge for my fuel!


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