BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker is abandoning his administration’s ambitious plan to create a multi-state compact aimed at dramatically reducing transportation pollution after the deal failed to gain traction in other states.
The announcement comes after Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, who supported the initiative, indicated this week he was backing away from the Transportation and Climate Initiative. Rhode Island was the only other state to have expressed interest in the compact.
Baker quickly followed suit on Thursday. The Republican had initially hoped more than a dozen states would sign on.
“The Baker-Polito Administration always maintained the Commonwealth would only move forward with TCI if multiple states committed, and, as that does not exist, the transportation climate initiative is no longer the best solution for the Commonwealth’s transportation and environmental needs,” Baker press secretary Terry MacCormack said in a written statement Thursday.
The governors of other New England states — New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont — had expressed skepticism about the program, in part over fears that it amounts to a gas tax or a tax on carbon.
The proposal was a long-term effort to curb greenhouse gas pollution caused by transportation.
It would have required large gasoline and diesel fuel suppliers to purchase “allowances” for the pollution caused by the use of the fuels they sell in the region.