EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Standing along Frontage Road in East Haven on Wednesday, protesters held signs with the hopes of sending a strong message. They want Connecticut to pump the brakes on the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) program.
Known as TCI, this multi-state effort aims to cap and reduce greenhouse gases as well as accelerate investments in a cleaner and more resilient transportation system.
“It simply doesn’t achieve those goals and there are a lot of people paying attention to this and they realize this is just another tax,” said State Senator Paul Cicarella, a Republican who represents North Haven.
Under TCI, fuel suppliers would pay for the pollution caused by the fuel they sell. There’s concern that cost will be passed onto the consumers, which is why opponents of the program have held rallies throughout the state.
“I was here in May when they had the last one,” said Frank Podgwaite, of North Haven. “I didn’t think we needed to do it again, but apparently we do.”
There’s also been a push from those who feel TCI is the best step to take in the fight against climate change. They believe this will make a big impact now and in the future.
“It’s not time to delay action!” said Thomas Regan-Lefebvre, one of the people who showed up in support of TCI. “We need action on climate, on air, on transportation.”
According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), transportation is the largest source of emissions in Connecticut and the state has some of the worst air quality in the country. Without significant efforts to combat this, many worry climate change will devastate the economy, infrastructure, natural resources, and public health.
What happens next? Connecticut must pass legislation authorizing TCI and then enact regulations to implement the program. Governor Ned Lamont’s office told News 8 it will not be part of the upcoming special session and it’s unclear when it will be discussed.