“Walk, Bike, and Roll” activists at the Capitol to rally around TCI’s climate proposal
Campaigners hope the proposal will result in transport that is both greener and safer.
HARTFORD, Connecticut – Campaigners are raising their voices for the proposed Transportation and Climate Initiative, known as TCI. They gathered outside the State Capitol in Hartford on Saturday, urging the legislature to hold a special session to pass the proposal, which the legislature did not put to a vote in the last session.
The multi-state proposal would put a cap on carbon dioxide pollution from gasoline and on-road diesel fuel sold in the state. Businesses would pay an overrun fee if they used more fossil fuels than the pollution cap. The revenues would then be reinvested in clean transport.
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“If this works as expected, we plan to have $ 100 million each year to invest in Connecticut,” said Thomas Regan-Lefebvre, coordinator of Transport Hartford. (The state projects “up to $ 89 million in 2023, increasing to $ 117 million in 2032”.)
Saturday’s event, billed as ‘Walk, Bike or Roll’ to Capitol Hill, was hosted by a combination of environmental and transport groups. They want some of that money to go to improving the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
“Last year when COVID hit I started cycling with my kids to school and it’s not always safe on the road,” said Elaina Hancock, Mansfield. “Connecticut has the highest rate of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in New England and that’s something that needs to change. “
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But the proposal has met stiff opposition from Republicans in the legislature, who see the measure as just another tax in a state where taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel are consistently among the highest in the country. And they believe that any increase in transportation costs will inevitably lead to higher prices for everyday goods and services.
But supporters of Saturday’s rally say TCI could help cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26% within 10 years, and that action to stop climate change simply cannot be delayed any longer.
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