Don’t look now – at least its supporters hope you won’t – but the Transportation & Climate Initiative is becoming more less and less popular in the ‘member’ states in the northeastern U.S. Seems the idea of taxing our way out of climate change is less than popular.
“In Connecticut, Governor Ted Lamont (D-CT), who has an approval rating of 24 percent and is already bleeding political capital over his plan to bring back tolls on interstate highways, wants absolutely nothing to do with some cockamamie gas tax. Said Lamont about TCI, “…raising that gas tax, frankly, is what other states — mainly Republican states — have done to pay for transportation. I think it’s 100% paid for by Connecticut residents and probably not the way the to go.”
In Maine, Governor Janet Mills had been a strong supporter of TCI until word started to get out that increasing the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel was both regressive in nature and especially punitive to rural constituents. Maine, like Vermont, is almost entirely rural. So now feeling the heat, Mills is changing her tune. According to the Boston Globe, the Maine Democrat’s office said that “the challenges of climate and transportation issues for rural states like Maine are unique, and the state will be appropriately cautious when considering these issues.”