We’re working to make Massachusetts one of the first states in the Nation to pass a fair price on carbon. We’re members of the Massachusetts Campaign for a Clean Energy Future, a coalition of environmental, business, labor, and civic organizations that are working to insure that carbon pricing policies reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the Massachusetts economy, protect vulnerable populations, and are fair to households, businesses, and institutions.
The 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act committed our State to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020; but right now we’re not on track to hit that target. There’s a simple way to get on track: put a fair price on carbon dioxide emissions. That way we can preserve our environment and strengthen our economy.
Economists agree that a carbon fee and rebate is an efficient way to reduce emissions. It works like this: the state adds a fee to every ton of greenhouse gas emitted. This fee raises the price of polluting and encourages everyone to shift to cleaner energy sources, without complicated regulations. Instead of keeping the money, the state returns most or all of it to us, the taxpayers. That keeps the economy healthy. The state can also set aside a portion of the money to do things like encourage clean energy, build green infrastructure, or repair public transportation, all of which create more jobs. Other countries have done this. For example, the Canadian province of British Columbia introduced an economy-wide carbon fee and rebate program in 2008. Since the program started, emissions in B.C. have dropped by 16%, while rising by 3% elsewhere in Canada. Since 2008, B.C.’s economy has also grown faster than the rest of Canada.
If Massachusetts puts in fair carbon pricing, we would be among the first states to do so. As in many other policies, we would be a model for the rest of the nation to follow. Two carbon fee and rebate bills have already been proposed in the legislature this session, by Senator Michael Barrett and Representative Jennifer Benson. Read on to see how you can help turn these into law.