The Vermont League looks at Carbon Pricing

Type: 
News

by Sonja Schuyler

The national League supports putting a price on carbon to address global warming. At our State Convention, the Vermont League voted to set up a study group to follow the proposed legislation in the Vermont Legislature. The focus will be to determine how we can participate in shaping the legislation. We anticipate working with the Vermont Natural Resources Council and the Energy Independent Vermont coalition.

What we need are League members to dig into the proposals so we can take action. A wealth of material is available from the LWVUS which can help us analyze the Vermont bills. Google LWVUS Carbon Pricing to see what is available.

At the end of the 2017 Legislative session H294, calling for a study of carbon tax and cap and trade, and JRH6 which calls on the Governor to advocate for a regional carbon tax were pending. More legislation is anticipated.

Vermont is currently part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) with the other New England states, Delaware, Maryland and New York, which is a cap and trade program to reduce carbon emissions. Some excerpts follow:

League Work on Carbon Pricing

The LWVUS strongly supports putting a price on carbon but is not advocating one particular system at this time. A carbon tax and a cap-andtrade system are both market-based tools that create incentives to reduce carbon emissions, and the League could support a well-designed system of either type. Placing a significant and increasing price on carbon is critical to achieving the aggressive reduction in U.S. carbon emissions that is needed to limit future global warming

League Stance on Carbon Pricing--a public statement to use:

A price on carbon will put the market to work to decrease demand for fossil fuels and make alternatives more affordable.

The League supports carbon pricing in the form of either a carbon tax/fee or cap-andtrade. The League has no position on how the revenue should be used. Some alternatives include rebates to households, aid to communities more affected by climate change, pollution, and/or carbon fees, investment in alternative energy, or some combination of alternatives.

Despite the resistance to putting a price on carbon at the federal level in the U.S., capand-trade is proving to be successful, as demonstrated by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in nine northeastern states since 2008 and in California since 2012. Further efforts to put a price on carbon through legislation or ballot initiatives are gaining momentum in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

We encourage our legislators at both federal and state levels to seriously consider carbon pricing options and begin a bi-partisan, inclusive debate on each plan's merits.

If you want to participate in action on carbon pricing contact Sonja Schuyler

Issues referenced by this article: 
League to which this content belongs: 
Vermont