Mass

100 Organizations that Want to Raise the Price of Your Gas and Diesel by 17¢/gal!

FROM OUR PRINTED NOV. 1, 2020 EDITION:

by Ted Tripp

Sr. Political Reporter

Ceres, a Boston-based sustainability non-profit, through powerful networks and directed advocacy, works to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, which include Climate Change, water scarcity and pollution, and equity in the workplace. Its mission is to “transform the economy to build a sustainable future for people and the planet.”

In its effort to halt Climate Change or Global Warming, it strongly advocates for the adoption of the recommendations in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) (see Boston Broadside, January 2020).

TCI is a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and D.C. that seeks to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector and use any funds collected to fix roads and bridges and promote electric vehicles. This is a simple carbon tax, but TCI disingenuously calls it a cap and invest program. Governor Patrick’s administration signed up Massachusetts in 2010.

This fall, TCI is asking its member states to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which would allow each state to assess a tax on gas and diesel fuels of up to 17 cents/gal. Some states like New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont have had second thoughts about this huge increase on the price of car and truck fuels.
(See tinyurl.com/TCIEconomicBenefits.)

To help push the MoU over the top, Ceres recruited or cajoled or embarrassed 100 companies and groups into signing a letter urging each of the governors of the 12 states to sign the MoU. In other words, these 100 organizations are advocating for a huge increase in the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel.

The letter below shows you what was sent to Governor Charlie Baker. Note that it doesn’t actually say how much of an increase there will be in the cost of fuel and tries to explain that it is not a tax. This is deliberate obfuscation to help justify the end goal of getting rid of fossil fuels.

The companies located in or doing business in Massachusetts are shown in bold. The next time you do business with any of them, and they ask for your feedback, tell them how unhappy you are that they want to substantially raise your cost of gasoline through TCI policies.


The Honorable Charlie Baker

Office of the Governor

State House Boston, MA 02133

October 8, 2020

RE: Employer Support for Regional Proposal for Clean Transportation

Dear Governor Baker:

We are a diverse group of organizations and businesses united by the extraordinary opportunity to modernize and decarbonize our region’s transportation system. We are writing to express our strong support for the draft Memorandum of Understanding on the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI).

We believe that the policy created through TCI will achieve several of our shared goals focused on responding to the impacts of COVID-19: deploying necessary clean transportation technologies; mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from transportation; investing in much-needed public transit, alternative transportation and road infrastructure; and more.

Why TCI is Not a Gas Tax

TCI is a carbon pricing system focused on an essential outcome: reducing pollution from the transportation sector. A gas tax, by contrast, allows states to raise and spend revenues however they like. TCI’s carbon pricing system focuses on reducing pollution from the transportation sector by placing a cap on carbon emissions while auctioning emissions allowances; proceeds of which would only go towards low-GHG transportation improvements.

Investment in Transportation Infrastructure and EVs

We are heartened by the opportunity to invest TCI proceeds in new and improved transit solutions that will make transit, alternative transportation modes, and electrification of transportation more affordable, reliable, safe, and accessible. Public transit remains the most low-congestion, carbon-efficient, affordable and equitable way to move people. TCI proceeds could improve public transit, offer more choices for individuals, and encourage the purchase of electric and low-carbon-emitting vehicles (fleets, buses, passenger vehicles, trucks and rail). Electrification of all forms of transportation and deployment of equitably distributed public charging infrastructure is also a critical component of accelerated transportation decarbonization for which TCI can support.

Tackle Emissions for Those Most Impacted by Pollution

States have an opportunity to use the TCI proceeds to prioritize emissions reductions in overburdened and underserved communities that are disproportionately burdened by pollution and have the least access to reliable transportation options. We support the TCI states’ efforts to dedicate funding to these most vulnerable communities and the creation of inclusive processes to ensure equity in the program. The creation and empowerment of individual state Equity Commissions and transparency in data across the region will ensure environmental justice communities have a voice in the implementation of the program and the allocation of revenue generated through it.

Benefits for Rural Communities

TCI proceeds can and should be used to give residents more choices and support economic development in rural communities. Funds can be used to increase broadband access, support EV charging infrastructure in rural areas, and enable more frequent bus service or better access to commuter trains. For those who have to drive, EV cost savings increase the more miles a vehicle travels on the road.

The existing transportation system is a roadblock to our economic and our climate goals. We feel an urgency to create a transportation future that enables economic growth and substantial decarbonization. We encourage all participating states to sign the Memorandum of Understanding.

Thank you,

Akamai Technologies*

Anbaric Development Partners

Argyle Brewing Company, LLC

Autodesk*

Baldwin Brothers*

Bemis Associates

Ben and Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.*

Big Tree Farms, Inc.

Biogen*

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts*

Baroco Corporation

Boston Common Asset Management*

Boston Trust Walden*

Burton*

Cape Air*

Capilano + Company

Clif Bar*

Danfoss*

DHL*

DIAG Studios, PLLC.

Domini Impact Investments, LLC

Drawing Conclusions, LLC

DSM North America*

Eastern Bank*

Eco-Bags Products, Inc.

EcoPlum

ECOS

Edelmann Love Properties, Inc.

EILEEN FISHER*

eIQ Mobility

Endosys, LLC.

Enel North America*

Etsy*

Evergreen Home Performance, LLC

Eversource Energy*

Exact Solar

Exelon*

FirstLight Power

Friends Fiduciary Corporation

Future Proof Brands, LLC

Glen’s Garden Market

Green Century Capital Management

Green Clean Maine

Grimshaw Architects

Habitus Incorporated

Hackensack Meridian Health*

Hannon Armstrong

Happy Family Organics

Happy Tails Day Care and Pet Resort

IKEA North American Services, LLC*

Inherent Group, LP.

Investor Advocates for Social Justice*

JLL*

Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure, LLC

Kleynimals

Legal Sea Foods*

Lime*

Lyft, Inc*

M&E Engineers, Inc.

MegaFood

Metis Consulting Group

Miller/Howard Investments*

Nestlé*

Novartis*

Pax World Funds*

PowerDash, Inc.

Refresh Interiors

ReVision Energy

Rivanna Natural Designs, Inc.

Rivermoor Energy

Saunders Hotel Group

Schneider Electric*

School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investments

Schroder Investment Management North America

Seventh Generation*

Siemens*

Sigma Consultants, Inc.

State Street Corporation*

Stonyfield Organic*

Studio G Architects

Tesla*

The Green Engineer, Inc.

The Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge*

Timberland*

Trillium Asset Management*

TripZero

Uber*

Unilever*

Vert Asset Management

Wayfair*

WeNeedaVacation.com, LLC

Wolf, DiMatteo + Associates

Worthen Industries*

Higher Education Institutions

Chatham University

Eastern Connecticut State University

Framingham State University

Haverford College

Montgomery County Community College

Saint Peter’s University

UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative

Unity College

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Virginia Wesleyan University

Wells College

Widener University Commonwealth
   Law School

Bold indicates signatories with operations and/or investments in Massachusetts.

* Denotes over $100 Million in annual revenue or $1 billion or more in assets under management.

For more information or to connect with the signatories please contact
drobba@ceres.org.

CC:

Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs

Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Department of Transportation

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