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Green For All Releases Robust Policy Guide for Multi-State Transportation and Climate Initiative

Congressman Joe Kennedy III, State Officials, & Community Leaders Joined the Leading Environmental Equity Group in Urging 13 Jurisdictions in the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic to Prioritize Equity in Design of Regional “Cap & Invest” Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/11/19]—Today, Green For All—a program of Dream Corps—publicly called for an upcoming regional transportation and climate agreement to ensure it is responsive to the needs of low-income families, disproportionately pollution-impacted neighborhoods, and transit-underserved communities.

In a joint call with Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), state officials from Massachusetts and Virginia, and community leaders from Delaware and Maryland, the group echoed the importance of designing a regional transportation and climate program that works for all the region’s residents, starting with the communities that need it the most.

Green For All’s set of policy recommendationsreleased today in an equity toolkit called Designing an Equitable Cap-and-Invest Program for Transportationare being offered as a way to help state officials craft and finalize their forthcoming multi-state “cap-and-invest” program. The toolkit provides specific recommendations and policy guidance on what should be addressed, and how to address it in the program design.

States and Washington, D.C. released a draft framework for the multi-state program in October, and are expected to release a draft proposal of the regional agreement with more policy design details before the end of the month. The regional agreement is expected to be finalized by the spring of 2020. States will then move to formally adopt the program.

A new public poll released this week by MassINC Polling Group found that two-thirds of voters across seven states in the region supported the idea of a program to cap carbon pollution from transportation and invest in transportation improvements.

Read the full toolkit at greenforall.org/tcitoolkit.

“Our policy conversations surrounding transportation and climate must address more than markets and tax credits, penalties and investments–they have to be about justice. For too long, policy-makers have ignored this part of our climate debate and ignored the people and communities hit first and worst by our generations of inaction and discrimination built into our system. I’m proud to join Green For All in their efforts to prioritize equity as we work to find solutions to poverty and pollution.” Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.)

“Our transportation system – the way we move people and goods – is already unfair. This regional policy should prioritize the needs of the communities who are disproportionately pollution-burdened, transit-underserved, and vulnerable,” said Eleanor Fort of Green For All and author of the newly released toolkit, Designing an Equitable Cap-and-Invest Program for Transportation. “The details of the policy matter. Our toolkit gives states the guardrails to ensure the road to a clean, modern transportation system starts with the communities who need it the most. We hope they get it right.”

“The toolkit provides some of the necessary resources to support environmental justice communities here in Delaware. We hope states use it to design a program that works for communities like mine,” said Penny Dryden of the Delaware Environmental Justice Community Partnership.

Samuel Jordan of the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition added, “As state leaders like Governor Hogan here in Maryland participate in this, I hope they will not only look at reducing emissions from transportation, but also improving our transit systems. Here in West Baltimore, there’s not adequate transit service to help our community reach jobs, education, healthcare, and other services that are essential to daily life and upward social mobility. A regional program that raises money for transportation should invest those dollars in the communities who need it most.”

“Pollution-burdened communities and low-income families suffer severe health impacts due to emissions from cars, trucks and buses,” said Dr. Marc Breslow, Policy and Research Director of Climate XChange. “Investing revenue from the TCI program to improve mass transit and convert from fossil fuel to electric vehicles can save thousands of lives and billions in health care costs.”

Over the past few years, we’ve seen state and local officials take up the mantle of climate leadership in this country, but now it’s time for them to lead on justice too. They need to look beyond carbon emissions; the opportunity is bigger than that. We can cut carbon and inequality at the same time, but only if equity and justice are at the center of climate policy.” Michelle Romero, Green For All National Director

About Green For All: Green For All, a program of Dream Corps, is a national program that is working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. We work at the intersection of the environmental, economic justice, and racial justice movements to advance solutions to pollution that uplift low-income families and communities of color. Learn more at greenforall.org.

About the Transportation and Climate Initiative: The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia that seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The participating states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. Earlier this year, states released a draft framework for the regional program design. A draft agreement is expected before the end of this year, with states signing onto a finalized agreement with details of the program by spring 2020. 

About Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition: The Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition is a transit equity group of community economic development advocates in West Baltimore who helped to lead the development of the Red Line project and advocate for #MoreTransitEquity. Learn more at moretransitequity.com

About Delaware Environmental Justice Community Partnership: The Delaware Environmental Justice Community Partnership is a partnership of environmental justice groups throughout the state of Delaware.

About Climate XChange: Climate XChange was founded in 2013 by a group of concerned citizens frustrated by the lack of progress in the fight against climate change and seeking effective and viable policy solutions to reduce carbon emissions. Our mission is to provide research, education, and advocacy to move us towards a low-carbon economy through market-based mechanisms.

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Media Contacts:
Sunshine Sachs
[email protected]