On 15 May 2020, the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) announced the postponement of the release of the final memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a future US transport-sector ETS from spring to fall 2020 due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The postponement comes after TCI jurisdictions released a draft MoU along with economic modeling results for initial cap levels and annual reduction factors on 17 December 2019. The draft MoU received public comments during January and February 2020. According to the update, spring 2020 as the initial timeline for the release of the final MoU could not be met since governors and relevant agencies of TCI jurisdictions have needed to prioritize responding to Covid-19 impacts on their states. TCI is a regional collaboration of 12 northeast and mid-Atlantic US states.

The updated timeline for policy development now foresees that jurisdictions will continue work on the program details and engage further with relevant stakeholders over the next few months in order to release the final MoU in fall 2020. After the release of the final MoU, each TCI jurisdiction will also decide whether to sign the MoU and participate in the regional program.

The participating jurisdictions will then develop a model rule during winter 2020-2021 to be released for public input. Over the course of 2021, they will conduct rulemaking processes to adopt regulations aligned with the model rule on the state level and start implementing the program as of 2022. Neither the milestones for the rulemaking process nor the implementation date have changed in the updated timeline.