On December 18, 2018, a coalition of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia announced their intent to design a new regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal that would cap and reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels, and invest funds (taxes, fees and surcharges imposed by the program) into low-carbon and more resilient transportation infrastructure.


Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., endorsed the statement. New Hampshire, New York and Maine did not.


The statement describes the goals of the program, including reducing climate-changing pollution, creating economic opportunity, and improving transportation equity for currently underserved and overburdened populations.

NOTE: Rural and poor people would get subsidized EVs and chargers, and subsidized highly insulated/highly sealed housing and subsidized batteries and solar systems? The rest of us would be paying for it?


The statement also sets a goal of completing the policy design process within one year, after which each jurisdiction would decide whether to adopt and implement the policy.


The Transportation Climate Initiative, TCI, is directed by state and district agencies located within the TCI area. Each jurisdiction would be free to determine whether and how they would participate in individual projects and working groups.



If the TCI plan is approved, the agreement would be modeled after the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a nine-state regional “cap-and-invest” system for power plant emissions known as RGGI," adds Abel.


RGGI includes six of the nine states that signed the transportation agreement: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Under RGGI, regional emissions are to be capped at about 78.2 million tons of CO2eq/y in 2020 and about 55.7 million tons in 2030. The 2030 goal represents a 65 percent reduction from 2009 levels.


Transportation Fuel Distributors: Distributors of transportation fuels* in the nine states and D.C. would be required "to buy pollution permits [or allowances] for some of the carbon they distribute," writes David Abel, environmental reporter for the Globe.


* Compressed natural gas, propane, gasoline, diesel fuel, etc. Would aviation fuel be included?


The TCI program could collect about $3.5 billion to invest in clean transportation investments," writes Jack Kimmel, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "


At modest allowance prices, which distributors would add to prices at the pump, would cost the average driver $6 per month ($72/driver/y; much higher at immodest allowance prices.


Fuel allowance revenues would be spent by the 10 jurisdictions for a variety of low carbon transportation programs that would be selected by each jurisdiction, "including public transit, carpooling and driverless car services, subsidies to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, and new bike lanes," notes Abel. It looks like the sky is the limit


Vermont and Carbon Taxes: During the past few years, Vermont has proposed carbon taxes that are alleged to be partially “revenue neutral.” See Appendix.

The TCI plan would be a carbon tax that would not be revenue neutral. The TCI carbon taxes would be inefficiently spent by politically influenced government entities on all sorts of transportation projects.


The TCI plan, which is still being negotiated, could place a ceiling on the amount of carbon that could be emitted by transportation fuel distributors. The states would gradually lower that ceiling and reduce carbon emissions.


“To comply, the distributors could:


- Use more biofuels (if they would be abundantly available from soybeans and pond algae. See URLs), or

- Buy credits from other distributors (how/where would other distributors acquire such credits?), or

- Seek revenues in other markets (get out of the fuel distribution business?), such as recharging electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel vehicles.


Because there are fewer than 100 wholesalers in the TCI region, the plan would not be difficult to administer."


Vermont Department of Transportation: Vtrans would see a major increase in its budget and staff to be paid for by TCI carbon taxes, and other fees and surcharges


Vtrans has a long list of initiatives to restructure Vermont transportation, including:


– $380 million for railroad corridors. All of Vermont would be paying for railroad corridors connecting St. Albans, Burlington, Waterbury and Montpelier


– Bicycle paths at $2 million per mile. All of Vermont would be paying for bicycle paths for Vermont’s larger urban areas.

– Electric buses at $350,000 each plus EV chargers. All of Vermont would be paying for electric buses and chargers for Vermont’s larger urban areas

– Higher subsidies for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Vermonters, especially in rural areas, likely will not be buying EVs unless they are SUVs, minivans, and ¼-ton pick-ups; and have 4WD; and cost less than $30,000

– Moving tens of thousands of lower income households from rural areas into highly insulated/highly sealed apartment buildings closer to urban centers so mass transit (electric buses, electric vans, electric commuter rail, electric motor cycles, etc.) would be more fully utilized. Those apartment buildings would have heat pumps for heating and cooling, or be heated with biofuels, and have solar systems and batteries and EV chargers.








See page 4 and 45 of URL



Massachusetts Electric School Bus Program is a Flop


“Investing in more energy-efficient public transportation is important for our economy and environment,” the governor said. He added that the money is enabling the transportation agency to replace as many as 30 buses and fund energy-efficient projects."



At present, the Vermont House Energy/Environment committee and the VT Transportation Department sing the same song, to "convince" people in the Governor's Office to buy electric buses, for SHOW PURPOSES and VIRTUE SIGNALING.


They urge to buy buses at about $300,000/each, plus high-speed charging systems, even though they know the Massachusetts electric bus experiment has been a flop.


They are throwing OUR good money into another black hole.

Are they hoping for a different outcome in Vermont with hills and snowy roads and dirt roads in rural areas?

Those buses would need 4-wheel-drive, or all-wheel-drive


Here is an evaluation of the MA electric school bus project by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation.


The project was funded through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) with about $2 million, and administered by the Massachusetts State Department of Energy Resources.


Low Utilization Rates and Operating Challenges: The three buses logged a total of 14,000 miles, and provided school transportation for about 279 days (including some summer school transportation);


Each bus traveled 14,000 miles/ (3 x 279) = 16.7 miles per day. That means the $300,000 buses were utilized about one hour per day 


Participating school districts encountered a number of mechanical and logistical challenges that suggest this emerging technology requires further testing and refinement before widespread deployment can occur.


All three of the buses were out of service for a relatively high number of days and ultimately logged fewer than half as many miles than the average diesel bus.


No Energy Cost Savings: Energy savings from electric buses were much smaller than anticipated, due primarily to uncontrolled charging and high ‘vampire loads’ associated with auxiliary fans and heaters used to heat or cool batteries during charging.


Fueling costs were NOT lower for the electric buses than traditional diesel buses, due to unmanaged charging of batteries and excess electricity usage and demand charges; the buses likely were having battery-draining systems in operation while not traveling.


Emission Reduction: Electric buses emitted less than half as many tons of GHG than a comparable diesel buses.

Emissions of other harmful pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, NOx, and SOx, were also lower.


NOTE: If the embodied emissions of the batteries, and the embodied emissions of manufacturing the $300,000 buses were included, there likely would be no reductions of emissions, on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis.


Any tax, including a carbon tax, passing through the hands of government suffers from "the sticky fingers syndrome", $2 go in, $1.5 come out. The difference stays to feed the growing government bureaucracy. 


The key word missing in most discussions is UNILATERAL*. 
Vermont's government imposing on Vermonters a unilateral carbon tax is like shooting them in the feet. 

* If the carbon tax were nationwide, I would support it.

The carbon tax would: 

- Impose a $10/ton tax of carbon emitted in 2017, increasing to $100/ton in 2027. 
- Generate about $100 million in state revenue in 2019, about $520 million in 2027. 
- Be added to the fuel prices at gas stations and fuel oil/propane dealers. 

Drivers should expect a tax increase of 9 c/gal of gasoline in 2018, increasing to about 89 cents in 2027.
Homeowners, schools, hospitals, businesses, etc., should expect a tax increase of 58 c/gal of propane and $1.02/gal of heating oil and diesel fuel in 2027.



Vermont CO2eq Emissions: Vermont's CO2eq has been increasing as shown in the table; not shown are CO2eq emissions from wood burning, and CO2 sequestration by Vermont’s forests.


Vermont GHG Emissions







Total CO2eq, million metric ton








This is abundant proof Vermont's government has been implementing expensive, heavily subsidized, ineffective energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, which, when taken together, have been ineffective CO2eq reduction programs.


With such a dismal track record, the state should get out of the energy business, instead of agitating for unilateral carbon taxes to waste even more money and make things even worse. See URLs.





RE proponents of carbon taxes will never give up, because their livelihoods depend on them. Legislators want carbon taxes, because it is THEIR way to stay in power. Having lots of government programs that dole out money to favored voting groups and favored companies is their reason for being. Those groups will be thankful, and vote Democrat forever.

Carbon taxes have absolutely nothing to do with GW.
Vermont could disappear, and whatever went on still will go on.

Carbon taxes would set in motion the mother of all government boondoggles that would last for decades.
Vermont’s way of life would become unrecognizable.
The regimentation and coercion would be off the charts, all as determined by nameless bureaucrats.

Vermonters have been subjected to about 15 years of expensive energy programs to “save the world”.
Their ineffectiveness has been proven by INCREASING CO2 emissions from 1990 to 2015 (latest numbers).
With such a dismal record, the state should get out of the energy business.


Carbon Tax Impact On A Typical Vermont Family,as reported on VTDigger: The carbon tax would: 

- Impose a $10/ton tax of carbon emitted in 2017, increasing to $100/ton in 2027.
- Generate about $100 million in state revenue in 2019, about $520 million in 2027.
- Be added to the fuel prices at gas stations and fuel oil/propane dealers. 
- Drivers should expect a tax increase of 9 c/gal of gasoline in 2018, increasing to about 89 cents in 2027.

- Homeowners, schools, hospitals, businesses, etc., should expect a tax increase of 58 c/gal of propane and $1.02/gal of heating oil and diesel fuel in 2027. 

- A typical household (two wage earners, two cars, in a free-standing house) would pay additional taxes in 2027 of about:

- Some of the carbon tax extortion would be at the pump, some when the monthly fuel bills arrive, and some as higher prices of OTHER goods and services.


Driving = $0.89/gal x 2 x 12000 miles/y x 1/(30 miles/gal) = $712/y

Heating = $1.02/gal x 800 gal/y = $816/y

Total carbon tax in 2027 = $1528/y

Sales tax reduction 5/6 x 1400 = $233/y

Net tax increase = $1295/y  


- The hypocritical sop of reducing the sales tax from 6 to 5 percent would save that household about $233 in sales taxes, for a net loss of $1295 in 2027. That means such households, the backbone of the Vermont economy, would have about $1300/y less to make ends meet.

- Many of these households have had stagnant or declining, spendable real incomes (after taxes, fees, surcharges; other recurring expenses, etc.), plus dealing with a near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy, since 2000.

- With less real income, and higher real prices for goods and services, they also would have to make their own energy efficiency improvements.


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Comment by Penny Gray on December 22, 2018 at 8:34am

Wow-za!  Wouldn't it be cheaper and make more sense to embrace the Amish religion?  Tractors would run on grass; vehicles, grass and grain; airlines would be abolished and we could return to the simpler days of wind power to cross the oceans. Relocating the rural to city settings? This smacks of Soylent Green.  Here come the American Yellow Jackets, just give this plan a few years to ferment...

Comment by arthur qwenk on December 22, 2018 at 5:49am

"Don't tax me,tax the other fella behind that tree",


Comment by John F. Hussey on December 21, 2018 at 7:33pm

Smoke, mirrors and BULL S-IT!

Comment by Jim Wiegand on December 21, 2018 at 7:16pm
If you haven't heard, Tesla's are dangerous. These vehicles can catch fire just sitting in your garage. The guy in the top story from 2 days ago said he will never have another.
               https://jalopnik.com/tesla-model-s-catches-fire-twice-in-one-day-18...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    more............https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-15/tesla-spotaneously-catche...                                           https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-15/tesla-spotaneously-catche...
Comment by Dan McKay on December 21, 2018 at 6:59pm

Hopefully, Maine will sit this one out until the outcome and money drain comes to fruition for the participants. When do you think the technologies subsidized for this adventure will mature to stand alone ? Get your calculations ready , Willem.


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


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