About one year ago, Governor Wolf announced that Pennsylvania would join the impressive-sounding Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). In December, the TCI memorandum of understanding outlining the plan was released. So far, there has been nothing but crickets from the Governor’s office.
The TCI plan would require a new gas tax ranging from five to seventeen cents per gallon. With one of the highest gas taxes in the country, Pennsylvania drivers would feel quite a bit of pain at the pump. A lot of the press on the TCI plan highlights that a seventeen cent per gallon tax would reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent. Supporters of the higher tax are not talking about the fact that emissions will drop 19 percent without any tax increase. In other words, a massive gas tax increase will only improve emission reduction by, at most, an extra 6 percent. This estimated change in emissions isn’t coming from some “right-wing” think tank. Instead, the estimate of the natural reduction comes from the TCI’s calculations.
Although Governor Wolf has been quiet about his intent to remain in or leave the TCI, New Hampshire’s Governor announced that they would be opting out. Why? Because the higher gas taxes would harm drivers, unfairly burden rural residents, and have a minimal effect on carbon dioxide emissions.
Opposition to the TCI isn’t just coming from conservative and business groups. The President of Vermont’s AFL-CIO penned an editorial noting how the TCI would only serve to take more money out of peoples’ pockets and provide little benefit in return. The rest of the commentary echoes the standard leftist screed, proving that even a broken clock is right twice per day.
At this point, the best option for Pennsylvanians would be for Governor Wolf to withdraw the Commonwealth from the TCI compact.
We have written a sample email that you can send to Governor Wolf and members of the General Assembly. Feel free to add your own thoughts or send it as written. We will let you know about any further developments.