Contact: Olivia Burlingame, 301-613-4767 [email protected]
Washington DC – A recent set of Policy Design Principles for the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), designed by eight organizations including Green for All and others who work on transit, completely misses the mark. TCI aims to transform northeast transportation while cutting emissions.
First, they purport to speak on behalf of those hit first and worst by the climate crisis and industrial pollution, yet an equitable process to include a majority of frontline communities in the formulation of these principles and the TCI as a whole was not undertaken.
Our communities do not need groups like Green for All to speak for us or to place themselves between us and the governments and agencies we need to address, nor should they claim to represent our demands. We speak for ourselves. Furthermore, academic recommendations should not take precedent over the input of most affected communities.
Second, rather than succumbing to the profit motive, we need to regulate an end to the extraction of fossil fuels, not offer companies ways to buy their way out of their responsibilities.
The first policy design principle in the document states, “Don’t let polluters off the hook.” But, a cap and trade and invest system does exactly that. It allows polluters to buy permits to pollute. Polluters can then choose where to cut emissions and where to keep polluting. California’s experience with cap and trade shows that they’ll keep polluting in already overburdened frontline communities despite the toxic results on our families and communities.
If Green for All is really going to back harmful platforms rooted in market based schemes that only serve to benefit the fossil fuel industry and other corporations, they should consider changing their name to Green for a Few.