TCI: The Next Step in Government by Fiat


Way back before the onset of the coronavirus, the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) was a significant issue.  The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity put out a policy brief and urged people to offer public commentary on the project; the Gaspee Project promoted a petitionState of the State did an episode on the subject; and I wrote a holiday-themed poem.  As seen in the State of the State video, the governor’s administration folded after all of that citizen activity persuaded the General Assembly to quietly shake its head, “no.”  But the radicals pledged to regroup and try again the next year.

Well, wasn’t that easy?  A little bit of pandemic.  A little bit of the governor getting people used to government by executive order, and the state government quietly commits the people of Rhode Island to higher gas prices (i.e., a gas tax) and more green schemes:

Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced yesterday that Rhode Island has joined the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). It’s an historic, bipartisan program that will be a game-changer in cutting motor vehicle pollution, which is the region’s greatest source of greenhouse gases.

No public debate. No messy legislative debate. Just an executive order as families crawl toward a COVID-tainted holiday season.

As if to rub Rhode Islanders’ faces in the assault on our civil rights, Queen Raimondo’s press release doesn’t include any of our elected representatives.  Yes, environmentalist activists are onboard, as are various executive directors whom Raimondo appointed.  Surprise, surprise.  Radical General Treasurer Seth Magaziner provides a fig leaf of cover as at least one official who was actually elected, but that only puts a spotlight on the lack of any others.

The governor gave herself unprecedented power to make us do and not do things for our own good (from her perspective) with COVID-19, and there was never any reason to believe she would restrict that philosophy to the pandemic if she could get away with pushing the envelope.  Well… she’s pushing the envelope.

  • Lou

    What process was not followed that should have been? It’s kind of hard to take this whining seriously when “Rhode Island had the highest support at 61 percent.” (

    What, specifically is “crumbling” with the TCI? (

  • Christopher C. Reed

    Our guberness wants us all driving Priuses. (Priusii?) So, gas stations will be converted to electric charging stations? Since it takes 5 minutes to fill a gas tank and 15 minutes at best to partially charge a car-sized battery, we will need 3 times the lot space at stations to get the same throughput. How likely is that? Instead, you’ll be waiting in line at the ‘pump’ 15 minutes for the guy ahead of you to get back to his car from paying for his juice and slim jims inside.

    “Fast” charging is actually partial charging, shortens battery life, and increases the odds that the battery will overheat/burst into flames/explode. Another case of poor people gulled into paying for the plutocratic classes’ virtue-signalling hobbyhorse.

    No worries, our all-electric future gonna be great. Gina say so.

    • ShannonEntropy

      “Prius” is Latin for “first”. The plural — as in “as a woman of color, she had many firsts in her career” — is “primis”

      Yer welcome

      • Christopher C. Reed

        Primis! Staahp, ya killin me!
        As if Toyota hadn’t earned Marketing Fiasco of the Year award already.
        For double jeopardy, is it supposed to be ‘PREE-us’ or ‘PRY-is’ ?

        • Rhett Hardwick

          Based on my small sample “Pree-us” indicates you are a true believer, “PRY-is” does not. Sort of the way you could once determine that a smoker of Pall Mall cigarettes, who called them Pell Mells, was an authentic suicide.

          • ShannonEntropy

            Words in English that end in -ius are pronounced “eeus” … E.g.: radius; genius; gastrocnemius

            Nobody really knows how ancient Latin was pronounced tho… by the time it became the official language of the Roman Catholic Church the pronunciations were influenced by the native Italian

            BTW, English is *not* a “romance language” based on Latin, like Italian or French… it is at its roots a Germanic language

  • ShannonEntropy

    To be fair, the ProJo article about this [ 12 / 22 p. A1 ] says that legislative approval is still required to officially join the TCI

    …. but to judge by the glowing words quoted from the GA leadership, it sounds like they’re just gonna rubber-stamp it

    The article also states that the TCI will cause gas prices to rise 5 – 9 cents a gallon, just so you can figure out how big a hit that will be for you personally.
    For me it works out to ~ twenty bucks a year that would be much better spent on something of real value — like martinis. Good thing I already buy all my gas — and gin — in Massachusetts !!

    • Justin Katz

      I’m not sure that additional information changes much. Throughout COVID, we’ve been living in this gray area of not knowing what the law is and when. It’s insinuated, and even stated, as one thing, only to be walked back or redefined as the queen finds it necessary to do so.
      This practice even extended to state government officials behaving as if “Providence Plantations” were already not part of our state’s name and only THEN going to the people for approval.

      Notably, Raimondo’s press release does not say that the state has “provisionally” joined or mentioned the General Assembly at all. Therefore, I’m more apt to take it as the more accurate document. She proclaims the law, and the local news media cleans it up a bit to put on the illusion of representative democracy lest more Rhode Islanders than thee and me begin to wonder what’s going on.

    • Henry Chafee

      No escape as the state of Maskachusetts is ALSO signing on

  • Rhett Hardwick

    I thought this an interesting discussion on “death rates” with regard to Covid.

    • Lou

      I thought the conspiracy theory was that the death rate wasn’t up? Did you guys need to change it to fit reality? In any event, your clip made more sense the first time I heard it: (

      What do you think about the 5G conspiracy theory? Is that one of yours, too?

      • ShannonEntropy

        In Loo’s mind, if you donut adhere to the MSM’s narrative about Kung Flu — the the letter — you are a conspiracy theorist

        Even asking questions makes you a heretic, just like asking questions about Darwinian Evolution gets you branded a fundamentalist / creationist nut-job