‘In the face of continued inaction and all-out climate denial from the Trump Administration, regional, cooperative efforts … are critically important…’
Several East Coast governors from both political parties are considering policies that would circumvent President Donald Trump’s de-regulated auto emissions standards and force drivers to pay more at the pump.
Raising gas taxes would allow states to invest additional funds into public transit, electric vehicles and other environmentally friendly infrastructure, thereby addressing rising carbon emissions.
More than a dozen states are considering the agreement, which is based on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, according to Politico.
Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, New York, Maine and New Hampshire are all part of the proposal. Eight of these states have Democratic governors, and the other four have Republicans.
This initiative would essentially create a new kind of gas tax and drive gas prices up to California levels, which are the highest in the country. Gas prices in California average $4.13 per gallon, which is $1.50 more than the rest of the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal.
Prices in California have become so extreme that even the state government is trying to figure out what went wrong. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the state would be investigating “mystery surcharges” at the pump, which “add up, especially for cost-conscious working families.”
Most of the state’s surcharges aren’t that big of a mystery. Gas prices went up significantly after California adopted a cap-and-trade program similar to the one the East Coast is now considering. California’s program took effect last year, and within a few months, the state’s gas prices were about 77 cents higher than the U.S. average.
But this might not be enough to stop the East Coast’s climate change-obsessed states.
“In the face of continued inaction and all-out climate denial from the Trump Administration, regional, cooperative efforts … are critically important to reduce the pollution that causes climate change and build a robust clean energy economy,” said Basil Seggos, the commissioner of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, in a statement.