Back in January, we shared a Guest Post with our readers on the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). The author, Lowman Henry, noted:
“[T]he Wolf Administration has entered into an agreement with nine other mostly northeastern states to cap each of the states’ carbon emissions from transportation (your car). The states have one year to come up with a plan. Such plans will most certainly include additional taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel…the money will be “redistributed” to “low carbon transportation systems” – in other words urban mass transit…Thus the lofty sounding Transportation and Climate Initiative allows Governor Wolf to advance two of his top agenda items: establish a new revenue stream to keep urban mass transit afloat and penalize users of carbon-based fuels. Keep in mind, those users include you every time you start your car or use a product that was delivered to the store by motor vehicle, which is to say everything.” (Emphasis added)
The TCI plan was released on December 17th, and it is everything we feared it would be. The Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania, CAP, has joined with allies from across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in voicing our opposition to this plan. We noted in a joint letter:
“Legislators should not allow one citizen of a state — the governor — to impose such serious financial burdens on all other citizens. Such a decision rightfully belongs to the people’s representatives and should be reached through the legislative process, not by the decree of a single executive.
“The TCI is a poorly conceived, fundamentally regressive, and economically damaging proposal.”
Pennsylvania already has one of the highest gas taxes in the country. According to TCI’s own estimates carbon emissions will decrease by 19 percent from 2022-2032. They don’t think that’s good enough. Instead, the TCI is advocating a new gas tax ranging from five to seventeen cents per gallon in order to reduce emissions by only an additional one to six percent. The mere fact that Governor Wolf would consider increasing the tax yet again is appalling. The question now is whether or not the legislature will take substantive action to reclaim its power of the purse to combat the measure.