To the editor:

Christian Wade’s March 25 piece on the Transportation and Climate Initiative covers the bases, but we have to call foul on a couple of the remarks.

TCI is a program that will put a price on greenhouse gas pollution in the Northeast. It is an important step that moves New England away from a toxic, car-dependent system and raises revenue for electrified transit and improved walking and biking.

Currently gas- and diesel-powered vehicles are driving the climate crisis. Transportation is the largest contributor to climate-harming emissions in the nation.

Fossil fuel-powered vehicles also threaten our health. Pollution from automobiles is linked to asthma, cancer and heart disease.

Vehicle pollution kills an estimated 58,000 Americans each year, according to a recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Our dependence on cars has led to a dangerous, polluted and gridlocked highway nightmare. More than 2 million Americans visit the hospital every year due to vehicle-related injuries.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. TCI can help us transition to a cleaner, safer transportation system.

Of course, the fossil fuel industry is conjuring up old tropes around “cash grabs” and “tax hikes.”

Paying a few cents more per gallon is worth the investment in widespread electric vehicle charging, fast and efficient public transit and safer, more attractive streets for pedestrians and bicyclists.

New England deserves less pollution and more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods.

Legislators should approve TCI to support a cleaner and safer transportation future.

John Stout

Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group

Boston

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