Transportation and Climate Initiative Focus of Joint PA Senate Hearing Next Week

HARRISBURG – The state Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) and the Senate Transportation Committee, chaired by Sen. Kim Ward (R-39), will hold a joint public hearing next week on Pennsylvania’s participation in a multi-state plan aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

This plan, titled the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), seeks to cap and reduce carbon emissions from vehicles through a cap-and-invest program and could significantly change the face of transportation on the East Coast.  In 2018, Pennsylvania joined eight other states, as well as the District of Columbia, to develop a regional policy.  The public comment period on the draft TCI memorandum of understanding ends on Friday, Feb. 28.

“While I support efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector, we need to be realistic of the overall impacts to our consumers,” Sen. Yaw said.  “Specifically, a proposal like TCI would disproportionately harm my rural constituency who need to drive greater distances, as opposed to residents living in more populated areas of the state.  A purported 17 cent increase in a gallon of gas is simply not something I can support.”

“This joint hearing is important to assess what I believe are the overly ambitious goals of TCI and the negative impact it will have to the people of Pennsylvania,” said Sen. Ward. “It will likely include an increase in the cost of gas at the pumps, and, to me, that is a non-starter. What we should be doing is providing vehicle emissions reform for Pennsylvanians who are investing in more fuel-efficient vehicles, and putting an end to the taking of money from transportation funds and spending it on other budget items.”

The joint Senate hearing will be held on Wednesday, January 29th, 2020, 9AM-11AM in Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, State Capitol Complex.

Individuals offering comments include: Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Yassmin Gramian, P.E., Acting Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; Kevin Sunday, PA Chamber of Business and Industry; Ted Leonard, PA AAA Federation; Drew Stilson, Environmental Defense Fund and David Stevenson, Caesar Rodney Institute.

The hearing will be streamed LIVE on both Committee websites. 

Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee:

Senate Transportation Committee:


Nick Troutman, Sen. Yaw’s Office
(717) 787-3280

Nolan Ritchie, Sen. K. Ward’s Office
(717) 787-6063

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