Gas levy plan hits bump as New Hampshire opts out

Gov. Charlie Baker’s push to join a regional anti-climate change compact — predicted to jack up gas prices by up to 17 cents in just the first year — took a potentially critical blow even as it was being rolled out Tuesday, when New Hampshire quickly rejected it as a “financial boondoggle” and a burden on drivers.

“I will not force Granite Staters to pay more for their gas just to subsidize other states’ crumbling infrastructure,” Granite State Gov. Chris Sununu said of the the controversial Transportation Climate Initiative. “This program is a financial boondoggle and the people of New Hampshire will never support it.”

New Hampshire’s rejection came just hours after a draft memorandum of understanding was released Tuesday for the consideration of the 12 Atlantic Seaboard states and the District of Columbia that have been involved in TCI negotiations. The multi-state compact is intended to reduce carbon emissions and raise money for transportation projects by driving up gas prices. But critics say that driving up gas prices in Massachusetts if neighboring states don’t go along is a recipe for economic disaster — sending drivers, businesses and shoppers across the border to avoid higher costs.