November 18, 2017

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Northeast And Mid-Atlantic Governors Lauded For Announcement On Transportation And Climate

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BOSTON and BONN, Germany, Nov. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Leading environmental, health, scientific and business organizations today applauded the announcement by seven states and Washington, D.C. of plans to develop a regional policy to reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector. The move was endorsed today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Acadia Center, Sierra Club, and Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and five other groups.

The announcement by Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont was made during the Bonn Climate Change Summit.

All of the states in question have years of experience with what is known as the “cap-and-invest” model through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for power plant emissions.  In the eight years since RGGI arrived on the scene, carbon pollution from power plants has fallen by 40 percent, while the program has simultaneously saved consumers money, increased economic growth, created jobs and improved public health.

One possible path for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states would be to adopt a program similar to RGGI for an upgraded and cleaner transportation system.  The cap-and-invest model would provide funding and incentives to: accelerate adoption of electric cars, trucks and buses; expand public transit and ride sharing; and build walkable, bikable and transit-oriented communities accessible to all residents. These solutions can mean fewer delays, safer travel, reduced health and climate impacts … and, just as importantly, more jobs and a more equitable transportation system that benefits everyone, including those who need help the most. It is estimated that a RGGI-like approach would cut transportation climate pollution by 40 percent, create more than 100,000 new jobs and put $14.4 billion in families’ pockets – all by 2030.

Statements from the nine groups follow:

Ken Kimmell, president, Union of Concerned Scientists, and former chairman, RGGI board of directors, said: “The states’ announcement today is an important one, as the states have now committed to robust public input on the critical issue of providing a better, cleaner transportation system in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states.  All good policies start with listening to the public, and the states’ decision to do so now shows that they are serious about tackling this problem and that they are going about it the right way. It appears that one of the options for discussion is a regional cap and invest program covering transportation fuels; this

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