Update on Sep 19 2015:
This Fair Price for Carbon Resolution (find full text at the bottom) just passed the Mass Democratic Convention unanimously. Now we need to act on it. Take a copy to your state senator and representative!
DATE: September 21, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Dave Roitman
“Fair carbon pricing resolution passes Massachusetts Democratic Convention: Equitable plan to stop climate change, promote public health.”
Springfield, MA. On Saturday, September 19 the Massachusetts Democratic Convention’s annual convention of over a thousand delegates passed by voice vote without dissent a resolution encouraging Massachusetts state legislators to pass laws instituting a fair price on carbon fuels. The resolution, presented by environmentalists representing a statewide coalition promoting a carbon fee with rebate to residents, is in line with the 2013 Massachusetts Democratic Platform.
The adoption of the “Fair Carbon Pricing Resolution comes on the eve of the visit to this country by Pope Francis, whose message is one of reducing carbon emissions to save the planet and protecting and standing with the poor.
Coal, oil, and natural gas when burned create carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas responsible for global warming, as well as other pollutants that create and exacerbate illnesses such as asthma and emphysema. The public health effects are disproportionately visited upon poor communities in cities and rural industrial areas.
According to public health officials, environmentalists and economists, the low price of these fuels does not reflect the climate or health damage that these carbon fuels wreak. Increasing their price by placing a fee on them as they enter Massachusetts both “holds fossil fuel companies accountable for their emissions” and, by raising the price of the fuels as that fee is passed on to consumers, reduces “our reliance on imported dirty fuels” promoting transition to conservation and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
However, unlike price-raising by fossil fuel companies, the bills supported by the resolution — State Sen. Michael Barrett’s (D-Lexington) “Act Combating Climate Change” and State Sen. Marc Pacheco’s (D-Taunton) “Act to Protect Our Environment and Reduce the Carbon Footprint of the Commonwealth” – designate the fee levied on the fuels be returned in full or in great part to the people of Massachusetts. Those who spend the least on energy – including all those making less than $70,000 per year – would receive more dollars per year than they spend on the fee. Thus “the plan to reduce carbon pollution protect(s) the health and quality of life of poor and vulnerable populations, both from suffering an unfair burden from fossil fuel pollution, and from bearing the cost of the transition to a just and stable future.”
The Resolution promotes fair carbon pricing, which has been implemented successfully in the province of British Columbia, Canada, as consistent with the Democratic Party’s commitment “to create a safe and sustainable future for our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations, here in Massachusetts and around the world.” Its adoption would “write the next chapter of bold Massachusetts policy leadership” by demonstrating that such legislation can promote health, successfully fight global warming, while maintaining a robust economy.
FAIR CARBON PRICING RESOLUTION
For consideration by MA Democratic Party
September 12, 2015
WHEREAS, we must ensure that the cost of fossil fuels reflects the damage these fuels inflict on
our air, our water, our health, and the future stability of our climate, and we must hold fossil fuel
companies accountable for their emissions;
WHEREAS, it is necessary that we reduce our reliance on imported dirty fuels such as oil and
gas, and build a strong, independent economy that runs on clean, renewable sources of energy
produced here in Massachusetts;
WHEREAS, any plan to reduce carbon pollution must protect the health and quality of life of
poor and vulnerable populations, both from suffering an unfair burden from fossil fuel pollution,
and from bearing the cost of the transition to a just and stable future;
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth must honor the legal commitment made in the Global Warming
Solutions Act to reduce our emissions in proportion to what the best scientific evidence indicates
is necessary to avoid catastrophic global warming;
WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Democratic Party must honor the commitment in its 2013
Platform to “put a price on carbon” and thus write the next chapter of bold Massachusetts policy
leadership, and demonstrate to the country and to the world that pollution pricing can be good
policy and good politics;
AND WHEREAS the Massachusetts Democratic Party is committed to create a safe and
sustainable future for our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations, here in
Massachusetts and around the world:
THEREFORE, the Massachusetts Democratic Party calls on the State of Massachusetts to put a
price on global warming pollution, either through new regulations under the Global Warming
Solutions Act or through new legislation such as the legislation proposed by State Sen. Michael
Barrett (D-Lexington) “An Act Combating Climate Change” and State Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-
Taunton) in drafting and submitting “An Act to Protect Our Environment and Reduce the Carbon
Footprint of the Commonwealth.” We call upon our State Senators and Representatives, and our
Governor, to make fair carbon pricing the law of our state.