State carbon tax would raise gas prices by as much as 88 cents a gallon | VTDigger
 

State carbon tax would raise gas prices by as much as 88 cents a gallon

David Deen

David Deen, D-Putney, chair of the Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee. File photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Lawmakers say they will push for a statewide tax on carbon dioxide pollution.

The Legislature’s Joint Energy Committee last week reviewed two draft bills that would raise the tax on gasoline by up to 88 cents per gallon.

Economists say the tax is a preferred method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and legislators say they’ve included measures to counteract the regressive nature of the tax.

Rep. Mary Sullivan, D-Burlington, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the tax will discourage people from using fossil fuels.

“It’s a tax concept I certainly believe in: Tax bad things and try to get people to move away from these things,” Sullivan said. “You do bring in revenue, but you also reduce the impact to society that carbon emissions have. I think there are a lot of people out there who want to see the change this bill would bring about.”

Ninety percent of the revenue generated by the carbon tax would be used to cut other taxes, Sullivan said.

The largest tax cuts would go to low-income people who would be hit hardest by the regressivity of the carbon tax, according to Rep. David Deen, D-Putney, who is co-sponsoring the bill with Sullivan.

The legislation would also push the sales tax down from 6 percent to 5 percent.

The remaining 10 percent of revenue would pay for energy-saving measures such as improved home insulation and infrastructure for public transportation.

Another carbon tax bill, written by Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, would likewise remit 80 percent of the revenue to taxpayers.

A carbon dioxide tax is the means most economists prefer to reduce carbon emissions, said economist Dick Heaps, of Northern Economic Consulting in Chittenden County.

Such an approach interferes least with the free market, he said.

“You want to intervene with the lightest step possible,” Heaps said. “You don’t want to have the government tell you how to produce less carbon, and how much to consume.”

A carbon tax leaves it up to consumers to decide whether to live near their workplace, or whether to purchase an electric car. Economists prefer a carbon tax to a ban on carbon emissions, for instance, or a requirement that all commuters take public transit, Heaps said.

The tax would produce results, too, he said.

Cigarette taxes provide a good example of this effect at work, Heaps said.

“Raising the cigarette tax does reduce cigarette consumption,” he said. “With a carbon tax, you set the tax so as to reduce carbon to a [desired level], and if the tax isn’t high enough to get there, well, raise it again. If it’s set too high, then lower the tax.

“We’ve seen it time and again in markets, you raise the price, people will eventually consume less,” Heaps said.

Vermont can’t make the tax work on its own, however, Heaps said.

“I think it would be really bad policy for Vermont to do this for itself,” he said. In-state sales tax has harmed businesses along the border with New Hampshire, which does not collect sales tax, Heaps said. The same would hold true across the state if Vermont enacted a carbon dioxide tax without doing so in concert with its neighbors, he said.

“Vermont is too small to do something like this by itself,” he said. “We can at best do it as New England as a region.”

Carbon tax

File photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

An economy the size of California’s may be able to pull off a carbon dioxide tax on its own, he said, “but if you’re little old Vermont, you’re going to want to spend the effort convincing everyone else to do it first.”

Deen said he considers it a priority to get other states on board.

“The original intent was to recruit other states to do the same thing as us, starting here in New England, and I’m still working on that,” he said.

Deen said he’s open to revising the bill so that it would take effect only after other New England states pass substantially similar legislation.

And while other countries continue to emit carbon dioxide pollution, Deen said that people in the United States bear responsibility for reducing emissions.

“This notion that India and China and whatever countries are not going to do something – we’re still the biggest energy-consuming country in the world,” he said. “It’s not like we don’t have some responsibility for the amount of discharge that goes into the atmosphere.”

Both bills propose to begin applying the tax in 2018 on fuels including coal, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, propane and others.

Distributors would under both bills carry responsibility for paying the excise.

Deen and Sullivan would set the tax at a rate of $10 per metric ton of carbon dioxide pollution, and raise that amount by $10 per ton per year until reaching a maximum of $100 a ton.

Pearson’s bill takes the same tack, but would start at $50 per ton.

At $10 per ton of carbon dioxide pollution, drivers would pay a 9 cent carbon tax per gallon of gasoline; at $50 per ton, consumers would pay 44 cents a gallon. At the maximum rate of $100 a ton, drivers would pay 88 cents per gallon of gasoline in carbon dioxide taxes.

Mike Polhamus

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248 Comments on "State carbon tax would raise gas prices by as much as 88 cents a gallon"

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Jamie Carter
8 months 5 days ago
“I think there are a lot of people out there who want to see the change this bill would bring about.”” Mrs. Sullivan, I think a lot people out there with think you and your colleagues have complete gone bonkers. While people can choose to quit smoking. People can’t afford to sell their home and move closer to work. People can’t afford to drive nothing but a prius or tesla… This tax has to be one of the most idiotic pieces of legislation I’ve heard proposed? And here’s what will happen, LESS revenue. If the average fill up is now… Read more »
Suzanne Leiter
8 months 4 days ago

Under this proposal, 90% of the revenue will go into tax cuts. The sales tax will go down from 6% to 5%. I live near NH and this is important. I don’t drive the extra 10 miles each way to NH to fill up my tank now, even though gas is already cheaper in NH. The money that this plan will put towards weatherization will create jobs in Vermont.

Jamie Carter
8 months 4 days ago

I don’t drive to NY now to get gas either, but if it goes up 88 cents I will. I’ll also buy and stock up on any other things I can find that are cheaper.

Eileen Foster
8 months 4 days ago

An additional .88 cents/gallon tax is insane.

Did the legislators consider that FedEx, UPS and every other Shipping company will pass that tax onto business owners? Vermonters will not only pay at the pump to fuel their own personal vehicles, but also will pay in increased costs for all business transactions and purchases.

We need a big change-over in the State House in order to ground Vermont’s leadership in reality.

Willem post
8 months 3 days ago

Jamie,
This money is needed to subsidize Reneable energy systems, because the federal subsidies will be expiring.

This is all about keeping the RE bandwagon going at the expense of already struggling households who will be given another kick in the pants.

I have been predicting this for some time and our legislators are providing constuent service for RE businesses.

Willem Post
8 months 3 days ago
Addition to above comment: This is a carbon tax on ALL fossil fuels, not just on gasoline. So, if you buy 1000 gallon of propane for the year, look forward to your heating bill eventually increasing by about 25 – 30%!! The same with your gasoline bill!! The bill was introduced by the following house representatives: Deen of Westminster, Sullivan of Burlington, Bartholomew of Hartland, Berry of Manchester, Burke of Brattleboro, Donovan of Burlington, French of Randolph, Gonzalez of Winooski, Grad of Moretown, Hooper of Montpelier, Jewett of Ripton, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Krowinski of Burlington, LaLonde of South Burlington, Lenes… Read more »
Mary Crowley
7 months 29 days ago

Rep. Deene. By helping low income families do you mean working families who need help but always told no as figure before taxes out.
We on Social Security which we paid into is again being borrowed from and no raise for us, but more important, service men and women.
So to pass this extreme Bill would hurt the regular folks and the dent on Tourism would just be awful.
Please as they used to say in schools put on your thinking hat.
Respectfully. Mary E. Crowley

Jean Klepz
7 months 26 days ago

Why don’t we put a carbon tax on imports? Why don’t we go after the big business that left the US to pollute the world from other places? We should taxe imports based on the amount of pollution that is generated from the factories that make their products. It is all one big ocean, the water is all connected and we only have one atmosphere. Why do only Vermonters or US citizens have to pay for this?

Jean Markey-Duncan
7 months 28 days ago
A carbon tax makes perfect sense. The reality is that global climate disruption is costing us billions of dollars in hidden costs. Cleanup from Irene, for instance, or algae blooms in the lake and lost fisheries due to lake warm up. We are all paying the price when we have to remediate the damage or lose tourist dollars when the lake becomes an undesirable place to recreate. It will be cheaper for all of us, in the end, to pay taxes on the carbon we emit by our activities. We will have much more personal control. Give it some thought.
Justin Jackson
7 months 27 days ago

Are you crazy? This is not the way we will reduce carbom. This is a direct and personal attack on any person who is forced to commute due to high rent costs in Chittenden country. This tax will only serve to further depress the middle/working class in Vermont. We still have to drive to work no matter how high the taxes so this will only serve to further depress us.

Gregg Laikin
7 months 26 days ago

I live on SSI/SSDI but am very concerned about this matter. Do you know that Water-powered energy can easily be used in our cars/trucks and as Stanley Meyers driven from NYC – LA on 22 gals. with only water coming out of his exhaust pipe. Big-Oil has refused to admit this for they are making trillions of $$$ on the use of petroleum products.

Ann Meade
8 months 5 days ago

Unbelievable. Driving in Vermont is not doing a bad thing, it is going to work, getting groceries, living life. I know that someone will throw numbers at me telling me I am wrong but I believe that when gas prices are high it impacts the entire economy. People feel like they can’t afford to do anything. Anecdotally, I have had the conversation with so many people that the economy feels on the upswing, great tourist season. You can thank lower gas prices for that. And the logic of cutting other taxes as a result reads like fuzzy math to me.

Jim Manahan
8 months 4 days ago

Driving in Vermont is not going to be a good thing under this proposal. Essentially, tell the tourists to stay home and keep their money out of Vermont. Tell the skiers to stay home and don’t spend their money with Vermont’s ski areas. Just an incredibly dumb idea all the way around, but some are buying the nonsense that 90% will go toward tax cuts, and hoodwinked into thinking this will create jobs.

Bill Christian
8 months 4 hours ago

The many anti-tax comments are all from people who either (1) don’t believe in climate change and the eventual depletion of fossil fuels, or (2) believe it and don’t care. Neither choise is legitimate. The earth is more important than “tourist dollars”. A tour of Vermont in an electric bus may become a very good choice of holiday. We CANNOT keep on as-is. To believe that we can is selfish or stupid or both. Sorry but it is true. We MUST make hard choices.

7 months 29 days ago
If you think that adding an 88 cent tax on fossil fuels will create jobs and cut carbon emissions you are only dreaming. Maybe you should pay for my gas to go to work, buy my natural gas to heat my house this winter. Your tax plan will only cause heartache for any Vermonter living here. You you want to know why people are leaving the state? Think for a change and do something to help Vermonters instead of taxing us to death.You must have rocks in your head to think this is a good idea OR you have more… Read more »
Justin Jackson
7 months 27 days ago

It is not about climate change, it is about how rich liberals justify their extravagant and wasteful lives. By paying a tax they think that somehow they are absolving themselves of sin. I am not rich and I have to work and commute for a living. I don’t have “carbon guilt.” If you want to reduce carbon how about you donate your extra income to fight climate change, because for my part I haven’t got the money. An oppressive tax on the working class is not a very progressive way to solve the climate crisis.

Dave Fortin
8 months 3 days ago

They say they will use it to cut other taxes. I don’t believe it for a second. This is just another attack on the middle class who will feel it most.

Patty Prince
8 months 9 hours ago
Just recently gas, propane and oil have gone done nationwide, people are actually breathing a bit easier. They are able to afford food and clothing, maybe go on a small vacation. And the greedy government who drive their gas guzzling SUVs and wear their designer clothes , want to take that all away from them. We own apartment buildings, and we pay all of the utilities. We make very little money, actually last year was the first year we made any money because the fuel to heat them was insane! They are insulated and are still super costly. I know… Read more »
Bill Christian
8 months 4 hours ago

So it is all right to continue as-is? You don’t care about the future? You think that fossil fuel will not run out? You think our great grandchildren will be ok with a permanent unchangeable 1200 ppm CO2 in the air?

Clarke Comollo
7 months 29 days ago

Get Beijing to stop pumping all that crap in the air first, then get back to us

Tom Sullivan
8 months 5 days ago

“A carbon tax leaves it up to consumers to decide whether to live near their workplace, or whether to purchase an electric car”

In most cases, people don’t commute long distances by choice, they do so because they can’t afford housing that’s close to their jobs.

The carbon tax bill is simply an elitist progressive attempt at a money grab. Republicans will reap the benefits next year.

Mary-Alice Shemo
8 months 4 days ago

About going it alone, there are people here in NYS working toward the same goal. It’s the smartest approach, incentivizing use of creativity in reducing carbon emissions. In many cases, when people have finally decided for whatever reason to do so, they’ve found the outcome PROFITABLE! We have GOT to find a way to do this. BTW, “elitist” & “progressive” have exactly opposite meanings, don’t belong in the same sentence.

Tom Sullivan
8 months 4 days ago

Hey Mary

“BTW, “elitist” & “progressive” have exactly opposite meanings, don’t belong in the same sentence.”

elitist – considered superior by others or by themselves, as in intellect, talent, power, wealth, or position in society,

a person having, thought to have, or professing superior intellect or talent, power, wealth, or membership in the upper echelons of society

Progressive – of a group, person, or idea) favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.

Am I missing something?

John McClaughry
8 months 4 days ago

Actually, yes. Although early (1900) Western progressives were pro-democracy, when Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson refined the term to mean that the wise, well educated and selfless would be charged with making the public decisions, instead of leaving them to a show of hands among the ignorant, selfish and venal populace. There is a wealth of literature on this point.

lester french
8 months 2 days ago

This is a democrat dream to place more people under welfare control. There is no public transportation for many workers. Increase cost of fuel will drive up the price of food as well as other products bought in VT. Next step will be road blocks at border crossings to tax people who shop other states.

michael saunders
8 months 5 days ago

I like this idea. A lot of people will switch to wood pellets which is a good thing for the local producers. Also it will be interesting to see all the unintended consequences of the tax. You might see an increase in the states use of coal as more people switch to electric cars.

Jamie Carter
8 months 4 days ago
It’s a tax on gasoline, not on heating oil so wood pellets won’t likely see a significant increase. It’s unlike more people will switch to electric cars as the main problem is the battery life. If an electric car has a range of 100miles, in the winter with defrost, etc that range becomes 60-70, or 35 miles round trip. That’s not practical in rural VT. If you are traveling less then that, the tax isn’t going to hit you that hard to the point where you are considering paying a few 1ooo extra on a car to save a few… Read more »
Townsend Peters
8 months 4 days ago

You’re wrong Mr. Carter. It’s a tax on fossil fuels, including gasoline and heating oil.

Jamie Carter
8 months 4 days ago
Do you have link to the actual proposal because the article here twice states is a tax on gasoline, but nowhere do I find where it states it will also tax heating oil. “The Legislature’s Joint Energy Committee last week reviewed two draft bills that would raise the tax on gasoline by up to 88 cents per gallon.” “Both bills propose to begin applying the tax in 2018 on fuels including coal, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, propane and others.” I don’t see heating oil in there, maybe as others but since it would be the second major source seems odd to… Read more »
Trinna Larsen
8 months 4 days ago

Hi Mr. Carter,

Here is a link to the bill showing that the tax is on all fossil fuels producing carbon pollution, not only on gasoline. I also think it is odd that Digger referred to the tax as one on gasoline as opposed to what it actually is. Strange.

http://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2016/Docs/BILLS/H-0412/H-0412%20As%20Introduced.pdf

Jamie Carter
8 months 4 days ago

Thanks for the link Trinna Larsen.

It’s even worse then I thought… many many farms will be out of business that’s for sure. Those tractors don’t exactly get good mileage.

Randy Jorgensen
8 months 4 days ago

Everyone will rush to the stores to buy electric heaters to keep their houses warm in the winter because heating oil is now out of reach causing electric rates to go even higher and more “on demand” electrical generation plants to be fired up to compensate for the increased load.

Brilliant!

Bill Christian
8 months 4 hours ago
That is a stupid statement. Learn economic principles. Fossil fuel fired electric costs will go up too. There will be a move to heat pump heating with renewable energy. Due to COST. A carbon tax is very intelligent because it actually focuses specifically on fossil fuels. It does not tell you what to do or how to do it. It just says “don’t use so much fossil fuel because we absolutely cannot keep doing that. Do whatever else you can. But burn less fossil fuel. When YOU burn fossil fuel you are harming MY great grandchildren. That is not fair… Read more »
Jodi Lathrop
8 months 4 days ago
Where do you think wood pellets come from? The production of wood pellets require the use of diesel fuel. This bill put put most if not all loggers and excavators out of business. The profit margin form logging companies is only 3-4%. No new people are going into this filed all the old loggers are retiring. I predict in the next 10 years wood pellets will become more costly than a gallon of fuel. The dictates what fuel can be burned in what machines wood pellets are not priced like home heating fuel they are a wood commodity. So if… Read more »
Bill Christian
8 months 4 hours ago

Not if we tax coal as well! A carbon tax will have to be national to be very effective. But Vermont can lead as it often has.

8 months 5 days ago
So we impose a carbon tax which will hit the poor and middle class rural Vermonters the hardest. Then we “return” some of that tax to the poorest, the bulk of whom already reside in urban areas where mass transportation is easily available. And then we use the rest to create new programs that we hook to an evaporating income stream, meaning we can’t sustain them. Of course, that means the middle class and rural poor, especially those living along the Connecticut River, will once again suffer the most. And the response is that rural homeowners can move or buy… Read more »
Bob Stannard
8 months 4 days ago

As I read this article, Joe, I believe that the sponsors are willing to wait until other New States concur. I’m not getting the sense that they’re suggesting we go it alone.

Renee Carpenter
8 months 4 days ago
Conceptually, perhaps, a carbon tax is a good idea–at least in theory, but–as usual–the impact is greater the lower one’s income. Very regressive. A more progressive idea is to tax wealth–upper incomes, capital gains, financial transactions, second homes, luxury items, including certain vehicles, and pouring those increased revenues into a massive expansion of weatherization programs, and subsidies for lower income home owners to convert to greener heating systems, solar hot water, photovoltaics, etc; and to increase subsidies for new, affordable, energy-efficient homes (preventing excessive costs of homelessness, increasing stability for families, etc., etc…). “The legislation would also push the sales… Read more »
Owen Shindler
8 months 19 hours ago
More inanity from Montpelier. Perhaps the fine people of Vermont will finally wake up and retire this incredibly idealistic Democrat Legislature! We are like a miniature version of Congress who believes that the solution to everything is more taxes. We are already suffocating under the burden of high taxes and low wages. So the solution is more taxes? The secret to a healthy society is jobs… Without good jobs, nothing works. So why don’t we lead the charge to make Vermont the best place to do business. Create some programs to attract more business and create more jobs. What you… Read more »
Dave Bellini
8 months 5 days ago

I strongly disagree with this legislation. Let’s call it what it really is: A giant pay cut on working Vermonters. It is unrealistic to expect people to drop everything, pull their kids out of school and move elsewhere to cut down the commute. Usually, two people have to work in a household just to get by. One household often has two workers employed in different towns.
Vermont is not Fairfield County Connecticut. Folks can’t ride the rail into the city.
Seriously folks, this would hurt workers.

Kim Fried
8 months 5 days ago

These people believe it or not are “our” legislators. What world do they live in? Where did they come from? This law plus the energy strategies these same legislators and the Governor have put in place is dooming our state. Vermont now longer exists, it’s just Montpelier and Burlington. Can we have a law to change the name of our state, it certainly is dishonest to continue to call it Vermont.

Peter Everett
8 months 5 days ago

Looks like I’ll have to sell my home for pennies on the dollar.
Who the hell would pay market value for a home in, this overtaxed, state if this were to go through? Worst mistake I ever made was moving here. Maybe the beauty of the state intoxicates ones senses to the reality of the actual cost to live here. The negative now far outweighs the positive of Vermont.
If I could break even on selling my home, I’d be gone ASAP. Chances of that are slim to none. Stuck here I am!!!!

Randy Jorgensen
8 months 4 days ago
The max exodus of folks leaving the state will finally allow for a reboot of fiscal sanity. People complain that young folks having kids are moving away now, wait till this passes. Those of us that have 3 or more kids and have to drive vehicles that don’t get 50 MPG will have ANOTHER reason to leave the state. Pass it and WATCH it happen. I dare these folks to. Peter, it’s not worth holding on to a sinking ship as it goes down. It’s like holding a loosing stock, sometimes you have to cut your loses. Moving BACK to… Read more »
Moshe Braner
8 months 4 days ago

Some of the revenue should be used to (1) maintain the roads and (2) reduce the fixed fees on automobiles such as the annual registration.

Nick Spencer
8 months 4 days ago

I would support a pilot test program for the carbon tax. Implement it in Montpelier alone for the first 3 years and see how it impacts their economy. Then you might have an idea of how Vermont would be affected by going it alone in the US. You might be able to avoid hearing the Lawmakers talk about “unintended consequences” when it really is just bad legislation.

Neil Johnson
8 months 4 days ago

Genius……well put.

John Grady
8 months 4 days ago
Selfish flatlander baby boomers looking for a pat on the back from their social circle propose throwing thousands of struggling Vermonter’s in the poor house by destroying their jobs and others might hang on to their low paying jobs and see no benefit from a sales tax reduction because they have hardly any disposable income to spend on taxable items but will get creamed by the carbon tax. Wealthy flatlanders have no clue or don’t care about Vermont’s working class. The oil will be burned on planet earth whether in Vermont or the northeast or the United States. They probably… Read more »
Jan van Eck
8 months 4 days ago

Unfortunately, the first two paragraphs of your Comment are accurate observations.

Tony Elliott
8 months 4 days ago

Bad idea. If you want to create behavior modification, be sure there are viable alternatives to choose. Drive less? Buy an electric car? We just plain aren’t there yet. Most folks can’t move to be closer to their jobs and the premiums on hybrid and electric cars make them pretty unaffordable. It’s coming, but this is not the road to get there. Bad for citizens and bad for business.

Peter Everett
8 months 4 days ago

Revenue projections are just that…projections. Never do they equal what is expected, most always far below expectations. Therefore, what does the Legislature do, in their esteemed wisdom(????)? Raise other taxes to offset what they projected in the first place. Win – win for those in power (more of the taxpayer’s money to waste). Lose – lose for the taxpayers (need I explain?). Time to drive those in power out of office (better yet, out of state). Someday, reality will hit this state. Most likely, not in my lifetime.

Carl Werth
8 months 4 days ago

Voting this in should be a HUGE help in getting more Republicans elected to the legislature next November.

Rory Malone
8 months 4 days ago

This is a spectacularly bad idea. Outside of some environmentalists and a small portion of the legislature, I can’t imagine any other interest favoring such a massive tax. If something like this happened it would very likely cripple the VT economy. People would stop spending money at stores or restaurants, it would certainly decimate the drive-in tourism/skiing/leaf peeping segment.

Wow. I’m actually shocked at how wrong headed this idea is and terrified the legislature may actually support it.

Laura Mistretta
8 months 4 days ago
Climate change is happening and is already taking a toll on our state and our towns. How many more “100-yr floods” can our roads and bridges handle? We need to start tackling the source of climate change and provide the state with funding to help all Vermonters transition off of fossil fuels. A carbon pollution tax that is phased in over time will have a very minor impact on fuel costs (much less than the price fluctuations we have seen over the last two years when gas was over $4.00 per gallon). Yet, this SLIGHT increase in cost will help… Read more »
8 months 9 hours ago

All people who have disposable income or are on programs or who work for programs will support this tax

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

Also people who care more about our planet and our grandkids than about keeping our soft fat bottoms comfortable.

Dotty Kyle
8 months 4 days ago
Boy, it sure seems like the fossil fuel folks are out in full force! And they haven’t done their homework, they just spout conservative talking points. Sorry, guys – do some real research. As the grandmother of six, ages 8 through 24, I care deeply about the world we’re leaving them. For the past five years, since I first learned about British Columbia’s fee on carbon polluters, I’ve wondered why we in the US aren’t following suit. Of course, I knew all along – big oil, gas and coal, with their propaganda machine in full flower, has fed misinformation to… Read more »
Rob Roper
8 months 4 days ago

“…putting a price on polluters, with the revenue returning to Vermonters.”

In this case, Vermonters ARE the polluters. Anyone who drives, heats their homes, grills a hamburger is a polluter in the eyes of these legislators. So, this law would essentially take money from Vermonters, and return a smaller fraction of that take, but with serious strings attached. It’s a bad deal for the taxpayers. Give me $100, I’ll give you $90 back and tell you how you have to spend it.

Max D. Meridi
8 months 4 days ago

…”As the grandmother of six, ages 8 through 24, I care deeply about the world we’re leaving them.”…

Having Children Brings High Carbon Impact
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/07/having-children-brings-high-carbon-impact/comment-page-14/?_r=0

8 months 4 days ago
All of this assumes that increased CO2 in the atmosphere is a problem, a contention that is hardly proven, and indeed is extremely unlikely. As one speaker at the recent 2015 Annual GWPF Lecture said: “It does boggle the mind in the face of our knowledge that the level of CO2 has been steadily falling [from a geologic perspective] that human CO2 emissions are not universally acclaimed as a miracle of salvation. From direct observation we already know that the extreme predictions of CO2’s impact on global temperature are highly unlikely given that about one-third of all our CO2 emissions… Read more »
David Bell
8 months 3 days ago

It is a contention shown to be true through decades of research; the results of which have been accepted by 97% of climatologists and every credible scientific organization on the planet.

And while your quote may not come from a koch funded crackpot, the blogger you link to does.

One thing the person you quote cannot claim to be is a climatologist; so why are you pretending his dubious and highly misleading claims should be treated as credible?

8 months 8 hours ago

My mother is elderly and living on ss, I can tell you right now that her life will change dramatically, she lives in rural Vt. There will be no bingo no seeing her friends and the temperature in her house will be 62, she will probably eat less too… But if you think that’s not an impact, then go for it!

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

Did she go to bingo when gas cost $4.75? We are talking about raising gas from $2.00 to $2.09 the first year. You are being hysterical and illogical. The tax is modest, gradually growing, as it should, to give us time to figure out what to do. You won’t have to shoot your mother to put her out of her misery!

Glenn Thompson
8 months 4 days ago

From the article,

“Rep. Mary Sullivan, D-Burlington, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the tax will discourage people from using fossil fuels.”

How do people like this get voted into public office?

What about those who rely on their livelihood that requires driving from point A to Point B, to point C, etc, etc, etc to make a living? Think about that, the next time you walk into a supermarket to purchase a loaf of bread, or any product…anywheres…how did it get there?

I wish people who end up in Montpelier would do one thing….THINK, before proposing such lunacy!

peter starr
8 months 4 days ago

Why stop here? Every Vermonter should be Taxed.
According to The fart facts.com http://zomoetdat.nl/thefartfacts.com/index.html
Vermonters fart 14 times a day with a content of 9% carbon dioxide per fart! So about every 11 months each Vermonter would reach a ton, so I say about $11.00 a year should cover it.
If you are going to rape the good people of Vermont why not go all the way?

Elizabeth Parker
8 months 4 days ago
This article is a pot stirrer. Many people have worked long hours to vision what needs to be done to eliminate Vermont’s dependency on oil. Vermont imports $2 billion on fossil fuel each year. That is money going out of state hemoraging our economy. Developing new energy sources within the state for example methane and hydrogen will create jobs and go a long way to keeping a couple of billion dollars in our local economy. No one wants to stress the working poor who in the winter have to choose between transportation costs, heating costs and putting food on the… Read more »
Jan van Eck
8 months 4 days ago

Actually, in all candor, “income inequality will be stemmed” when there is opportunity for decent-paying jobs available for all. You are not going to get there by trying to tinker with “energy needs.” Doesn’t work that way.

Jeffrey D. Marshall
8 months 4 days ago

Giving tax breaks to people who don’t pay much, if any, taxes to begin within, or who are minimally able to fill out a tax form, or who are working underground because that’s the only way to make ends meet, is a typical asinine Republican proposal, not worthy of the Democratic Party.

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

Math lesson: a family using 30 gallons a week x 52 weeks a year and paying 9 cents a gallon tax will pay $140 a year for the tax. Dilbert said “sometimes it’s better not to explain the filtration system to the turtle”.

8 months 4 days ago

“….they have hardly any disposable income to spend on taxable items but will get creamed by the carbon tax.”

My thoughts exactly.

“The carbon tax bill is simply an elitist progressive attempt at a money grab.”

There is no money left.

“Republicans will reap the benefits next year.”

One can only hope!

Kathy Blume
8 months 4 days ago
I’ve been sitting in on many of the conversations about the development of a carbon pollution tax, and I can tell you first hand that everyone involved is extremely concerned about this as an environmental justice issue as well as a policy for reducing our carbon footprint. Nobody wants to burden working Vermonters. The conversations engage that particular issue all the time. That’s why there’s so much of an effort to also weatherize homes, build locally owned renewable energy projects, increase public and shared transportation networks, and make sure that the revenue from the carbon pollution tax benefits the average… Read more »
John McClaughry
8 months 3 days ago

I just searched the Wall Street Journal and although there are a couple of op ed pieces arguing that revenue neutral carbon tax plus zero renewable subsidies and energy deregulation would be an improvement over the subsidy and regulation carnival we have now, I can’t find an editorial supporting a carbon tax. The most recent op ed by Oren Cass (Manhattan Instititute) (4/30/15) is titled “Carbon Taxes in Revenue Fantasyland”.

John Greenberg
8 months 4 days ago
To read all the wailing in these comments, you’d think that 1) the majority of Vermonters are poor, and that there are no offsets for those who are, 2) that fossil fuel use is fixed in granite, and that 3) the proposed tax is IN ADDITION to all current taxes. In fact, all of these points are false. 1) In any version of a carbon tax, most of those paying the new tax would not be poor, since the majority of Vermonters are not poor. In the Dean-Sullivan proposal, sales tax – which EVERYONE in Vermont pays – gets cut… Read more »
John McClaughry
8 months 4 days ago

“Revenue neutral” means the same amount goes out as come sin. Your peculiar definition of the first 80-90% being “revenue neutral” omits the awkward fact that that the remaining 10-20% is a 0% neutral government tax grab.

Scott Whittemore
8 months 4 days ago

Not poor? One third of Vermonters are on Medicaid.

John Greenberg
8 months 4 days ago

Scott Whittemore:

And the other 2/3?

In addition, it is worth noting that, in Vermont, Medicaid is now available to people at 133-312% of the poverty limits: http://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip-program-information/by-state/vermont.html

In short, as I said above, the majority of Vermonters are NOT poor.

Too many of us are, but that’s another issue.

Neil Johnson
8 months 4 days ago
Well, John this could be true, but it’s not. See we could have affordable 50mpg cars for less than $10,000 all over the place. In the early eighties we had the K- car that got 40mpg, and had the aerodynamics of a brick. But now our safety regulations are so high, we can’t do that. Our cars weigh too much and cost too much. So the average person doesn’t save any money. Then you make is such that they aren’t mobile for a job and you’ve strapped them from advancement. Even more so if they have to move and sell… Read more »
Moshe Braner
8 months 4 days ago
“… the poorest Vermonters… all of them pay sales taxes.” – That is not really true, since (thankfully) we don’t charge sales tax on food and clothing. But everybody who pays gasoline taxes also pays for vehicle registration. That is why I suggest that the registration fee be reduced. Both that and the per-gallon tax are parts of the same rationale: increase the variable costs, and decrease the fixed costs, to encourage conservation. The same should be done with electricity. The $1.50 per meter fee for funding clean energy is counter-productive. It should be replaced with a per-KWH fee. It… Read more »
John Greenberg
8 months 4 days ago

Moshe Braner:

“That is not really true, since (thankfully) we don’t charge sales tax on food and clothing.”

And poor people buy NOTHING other than food or clothing? Really?

Moshe Braner
8 months 4 days ago

Poor people mostly pay for housing, utilities, transportation, food, and clothing. Sales tax is not charged on any of those (other than minor things, such the parts portion of auto maintenance, or the non-food items at the grocery store). They have little money for other purchases.

Robert Joseph
8 months 4 days ago

Cept for sugary drinks and diet soda (but not maple syrup) and prepared food…and clothing over $100…and fuel surcharge on garbage collection…and 1% local option tax….and don’t forget this tax would impact home heating oil and propane….which I guess aren’t considered “utilities” in your world….even tho those are the only 2 choices most Vermonters have.

John Greenberg
8 months 3 days ago
Moshe: The Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy does state by state analyses of how taxes impact people in each of the bottom income quintiles, as well as their impact on the top 15%, 5% and 1%. Its “Who Pays?” report finds that for the lowest income earners in Vermont (and I suspect elsewhere as well) general sales taxes have the HIGHEST impact of all income groups. Indeed, the PERCENTAGE of income paid for general sales taxes (obviously not the amount) goes DOWN as income rises. See page 124 of the pdf here: http://www.itep.org/pdf/whopaysreport.pdf. If you have a better source… Read more »
8 months 8 hours ago
Obviously this thinking is what is propelling this green thinking forward. So let’s propose this: All revenue from the 88 cent tax goes to each and every household to put in solar, wind, and geothermal. Let give everyone an electric car also. Without the Vermonter actually having to pay the bill for the renewable energy. I would go for that. Oh ya that’s not possible now is it? The cost of all that is not viable. So all this tax is going to do us hurt any chance of using the now extra money to maybe buy the renewable energy… Read more »
Trinna Larsen
8 months 4 days ago
First of all, I would like to point out that this article discusses the increase in cost of gas at the MAXIMUM taxing rate. The actual tax rate that this act would begin with would cause no more than a 10 cent raise is gas. I have seen prices raise up to $4.00 a gallon within a month for reasons a lot less important than saving this planet. I would also like to discuss how the goal of this bill is to create a stable transition to clean energy systems throughout Vermont. No one creating this bill is expecting people… Read more »
Jamie Carter
8 months 4 days ago
“The actual tax rate that this act would begin with would cause no more than a 10 cent raise is gas. ” On top of the 55 cents we ALREADY pay. If you want more money to effect change find an existing pot of money to use. There is only so much we can do. Secondly, if we need to collect it to then give it back it’s a bad idea. Overcomplication already wastes millions of dollars in this state as it is and only allows for mismanagement. Either tax everyone or no one. Why single out those that live… Read more »
John Greenberg
8 months 4 days ago

Jamie Carter:

“If you want more money to effect change find an existing pot of money to use.” In essence, that’s precisely what the bills propose: as just one example, one of the existing pots is 1 cent currently collected from sales tax which would be collected from the additional (yes) gas tax in the future.

Jamie Carter
8 months 4 days ago
OK, John… I’m not sure you were understanding of what I meant, but lets just go by what you said. This is in fact taking from another pot. They are shifting from income tax and sales tax in favor for a higher gas tax. So basically they are going to take money from the middle class of vermonters… those that depend on commuting to work and back, some of us quite a distance. And then give it back to the poor (who don’t drive much) and the wealthy (those that can afford to buy things). Great idea, keep screwing the… Read more »
Trinna Larsen
8 months 4 days ago
I would just like to clarify that this bill would not be placing a tax on gasoline. It is designed to tax the importers of fossil fuels based on the amount of carbon pollution they produce. The 10 cent raise in gasoline prices is the projected response of the fuel companies. The 90 percent of revenue going back to Vermonters is meant to offset these predicted responses. The increase in fuel would not be benefiting the VT government whatsoever, but reducing the amount of fossil fuels imported and consumed absolutely will. This bill will not only force fossil fuel companies… Read more »
Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

The tax is 49, not 55 cents a gallon. And it is nowhere near enough to pay for roads, so I help pay for roadwork with my income tax, so that you can drive more cheaply.

Peter Everett
8 months 1 day ago

Trinna,
You must understand that the Legislature does not know the meaning of the word MAXIMUM. Today’s Maximum is tomorrow’s MINIMUM.
The Legislature’s dictionary has a different meaning than the one you or I use. Time that people understand that, has arrived.

Valerie Mullin
8 months 4 days ago
“Rep. Mary Sullivan, D-Burlington, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the tax will discourage people from using fossil fuels.” Maybe Ms. Sullivan, it will discourage more people from going to work. Imagine if gas prices go up again to all time highs, then add the tax on top of this? A gas tax won’t just affect Vermonter’s who are trying to get to work and home, it will affect the cost of goods brought to our state or moved by gasoline, so higher prices for pretty much everything. It will not just be the “rich” who’ll pay the price. The… Read more »
Jan van Eck
8 months 4 days ago
Perhaps Rep. Mary Sullivan, the author of this newest version of fuels engineering, could tell us how she commutes from Burlington to Montpelier where she holds court on her energy ideas? Perhaps, she leads by example and takes the public bus? If not, then I would have to conclude that the purpose of her “carbon tax” is to advance a peculiarly elitist, if not Calvinist, view of external punishment upon other people, those upon whom it would inflict financial pain. Unfortunately, those people are the folks living below the poverty line, struggling to find the money just to get to… Read more »
Linda Gray
8 months 4 days ago

Some facts to consider as you evaluate this proposal:
– Vermonters spend $2 BILLION each year on fossil fuels, 80% goes out of state. The less we use fossil fuels, the more $$ stay in Vermont.
– British Columbia enacted a carbon pollution tax on its own in 2008, not as part of a regional effort, and it has had good results, both environmental and economic (see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-insidious-truth-about-bcs-carbon-tax-it-works/article19512237/)

Jamie Carter
8 months 4 days ago
If you add a tax on to gas, vermonters are still going to spend 2B a year on fossil fuel. The part you are struggling to grasp is that people can’t sell their homes and move closer to work. The housing market hasn’t recovered and the closer you move to a city the more expensive it is to live… not to mention the LACK of housing. Electric Cars do not have enough range for rural VT and hybrids cost 1000’s more, not enough to financially justify the purchase IF people could afford to just up and trade in.
John Greenberg
8 months 4 days ago
Jamie Carter: “The part you are struggling to grasp is that people can’t sell their homes and move closer to work.” But they CAN drive more efficient cars, which do NOT always cost more. In general, though of course not always, the cheapest cars are the smallest, which are also the most (or among the most) fuel efficient. Thanks to cheap energy policies in the US over many decades, however, Americans have generally preferred larger, less efficient cars, except when gasoline prices spike. Conversely, because of much higher gasoline prices, Europeans and Japanese buyers have generally preferred greater fuel efficiency.… Read more »
Jamie Carter
8 months 4 days ago
John, I’m sorry but I don’t have the cash to trade in my relatively efficient car to purchase a new car. And in fact this one will have to go at least another 4 years minimum. I dare say I’m in a better position then many who are driving 10 year old cars because they can’t afford a 2015 and are going to get hit even harder then me. That said, if you want to buy me a Tesla then I’ll gladly accept and do my part to reduce my carbon footprint. Let me know when you want to deliver… Read more »
Randy Jorgensen
8 months 4 days ago

Greenberg writes:

But they CAN drive more efficient cars, which do NOT always cost more.

No they can’t always. Those of us with kids are pretty limited in our selection. You fit a family of 6 in a your PRIUS and come back and let us know how that goes.

John Greenberg
8 months 3 days ago
Jamie: If you’re already driving a “relatively efficient car,” the why are you so concerned about the impact of a small rise in gas taxes? Let’s do some arithmetic, shall we? The average “new vehicle fuel efficiency” for 2013 light-duty passenger vehicles was 36mpg. http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_04_23.html. Or if you want to assume that everyone drives an average old car (11.4 years old), 30 mpg. http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_26.html_mfd The average miles driven per capita in Vermont is around 12,000 (http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/42000/42400/42431/Vermont_Transportation_Energy_Report.pdf, p. 17), meaning that the average Vermonter, driving the average 2-year old car will consume 333 gallons of gasoline per year, or in an… Read more »
Glenn Thompson
8 months 3 days ago

John Greenberg,

“but it’s important to note that American cars will be required to get over 50 mpg by 2025, so that as the tax rises, AVERAGE fuel efficiency will as well.”

This is going to be fun to watch….when 2025 rolls around and the automakers tell Washington the 50 mpg figure can NOT be achieved since Americans are not interested in purchasing small nor electric powered vehicles, but more than interested in buying pickup trucks and SUV’s. Since some 2016 models are already on the market….that 50 MPG figure will not be achieved in nine short years.

Glenn Thompson
8 months 3 days ago
What John Greenberg didn’t point out, a majority of people who live paycheck to paycheck can’t even afford the cost of a new econobox! Those people will purchase a used car. I would suggest to John and others to check used car prices anywheres they want and learn that smaller cars are not necessarily the cheapest nor the best value for the money! FYI, as a commuter vehicle, my last new car was in 1984. Makes no sense for anyone with limited income to purchase a brand new $15-20K cheap econobox when they can spend less than that on a… Read more »
8 months 8 hours ago

If our country is so concerned with fossil fuels then it should begin at the beginning. The government should be TAXING the car makers so they don’t make anymore vehicles that use fossil fuels, make wind and solar just as affordable as a new furnace. That way the consumers have no choice but to buy greener. Making our world greener.

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

The government cannot and should not do this. WE must take care of ourselves and our earth for our children. If we care. Government just makes rules to guide us. Final choice is ours. That’s why carbon tax is such a good idea.

Tom Sullivan
8 months 4 days ago

Hey Linda,

Australia also enacted a carbon tax, and it didn’t work out very well for them as they repealed it last year.

Randy Jorgensen
8 months 4 days ago

They also put the ax down on Wind development. Perhaps we can learn something from the country of criminals….

“The Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), a government-funded organization that invests in renewable energy, will no longer invest in wind technology and small-scale solar projects, the government announced Sunday. ”

https://e360.yale.edu/digest/australian_government_curbs_investments_in_wind_and_solar_energy/4482/

John McClaughry
8 months 3 days ago
Two facts about the BC carbon tax. One, the nearest tax jurisdiction in Canada (Alberta) is 600 miles from where people live in BC . BC people don’t cross that border for cheaper gas and diesel. By contrast, sponsor David Deen’s town is abut 1/4 mile from Walpole in low-tax NH. Two, the BC carbon tax turned out to be revenue-negative in 2012-2013 – the tax rate cuts exceeded the carbon tax proceeds by C$260 million – so it was popular with those who enjoyed more cuts than increases. You can bet the Vermont legislature won’t make that mistake!
Michael Nadeau
8 months 4 days ago
To all who have commented out of genuine concern, I applaud you for speaking your mind. Forums like these are democracy at its core. But to be constructive, we must listen to each other with an open mind (and open heart). I am one of the “poor” referenced in some of these comments, and can therefore appreciate the views of those who oppose this type of legislation. On the surface, and without much research, it can sound quite scary; dare I say downright dumb; just another hare-brained idea of the privileged class. But I am not ignorant, so I must… Read more »
Bob Stannard
8 months 4 days ago

Well said

Eileen Foster
8 months 4 days ago

The arrogance of reasoning that it’s “only $.09/gallon” is the core distinction.

For many Vermonters that “$.09/gallon” is a meaningful expense. Peter Miller, a phenomenal photographer who has chronicled life in Vermont, shared what is in my opinion one of the finest editorials ever published on VtDigger. Every legislator should read it.

Imagine the impact of “$.09/gallon” on the many Vermonters who share Peter Miller’s experience.

http://vtdigger.org/2014/03/26/peter-miller-cold-weather-hard-state/

Considering the fact that Vermont’s “Green Energy Plan” will have absolutely zero impact on global warming, this proposed carbon tax is an absurd burden to place on struggling Vermonters.

Neil Johnson
8 months 4 days ago
It’s called bait and switch, puppy dog sale. Pass a feel good law now, have all the penalties latter on, such that it’ s done when, I’m out of office. They did it for ACT 60, the Affordable Care act (you’ll notice all the big taxes occur after President Obama is out of office. They scheduled it 8 years after enactment, it wasn’t a mistake!) It’s the no money down deal buying a car, free payments for the first 3 months….to a person who can’t afford it. How about we allow folks to buy fuel efficient cars, we allow manufacturers… Read more »
Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

Thank you.

Dave Bellini
8 months 4 days ago
Ten cents per gallon in 2018 it is still an added cost that will escalate. Working Vermonters cannot afford this. We are finally seeing some temporary relief from high gas prices but gas prices are volatile. In 2018 gasoline and heating fuel may be much higher. I think the representatives underestimate the difficulty many Vermonters have regarding “choice.” Many Vermonters can’t afford new or electric cars, solar panels, a new furnace, new windows, more insulation, etc. These things are not optional for many. Deliberately, making gasoline and heating oil more expensive is unjust to people forced to rely on them.… Read more »
Clarke Comollo
8 months 4 days ago

While China , Russia, India etc.spout thousands of ton tons of emissions in the air every day we in V to pay a higher tax to compensate for their excesses. Are you insane? Get out and visit the real world. You may sell your own car if that makes you feel better.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cow-emissions-more-damaging-to-planet-than-co2-from-cars-427843.html

John Greenberg
8 months 4 days ago
Clarke Comolo: “While China , Russia, India etc.spout thousands of ton tons of emissions in the air every day we in V to pay a higher tax to compensate for their excesses.” “China will boost the tax on gasoline, naphtha, solvent oil and lubricating oil by 0.12 yuan a liter, according to a statement posted on the Ministry of Finance’s website yesterday. The levy on diesel, jet fuel and fuel oil will increase by 0.14 yuan a liter. The new levels are effective starting today. [11/28/2014]” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-11-28/china-to-increase-fuel-tax-to-curb-pollution-carbon-emissions “New Delhi has raised the excise duty on petrol and diesel as it… Read more »
Randy Jorgensen
8 months 4 days ago
Greenberg writes: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b4338b70-9258-11e4-b213-00144feabdc0.html is behind a wall or a bad link. “China will boost the tax on gasoline, naphtha, solvent oil and lubricating oil by 0.12 yuan a liter” Yes, they they will at the same time the government CUT prices of gasoline and diesel. “The retail prices of gasoline and diesel will be cut by 180 yuan and 230 yuan per tonne after taking the higher tax into consideration, the National Development and Reform Commission announced in a separate statement. This the 12th retail fuel prices cut since July 2014, as the government reacts to lower global crude oil… Read more »
John Greenberg
8 months 3 days ago

Randy:

Financial Times is behind a paywall, but you can read the article for free (or at least I just did) by cutting and pasting the quotes I provided into Google and then going to the article.

Randy Jorgensen
8 months 4 days ago

Clarke,

Locally speaking there is no money to made curbing cow emissions in Vermont. The Progressive elitists aren’t interesting in it.

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

China and India are working extremely hard to reduce their carbon emissions. Extremely hard.

Craig Powers
8 months 4 days ago

Another poorly thought out idea from those in Montpelier who think VT should be the world leader in solving every problem.

Climate change will not even be dented by VT’s teeny footprint and its population will suffer economically.

This reminds me of another reckless and poorly thought out folly…Shumlin’s single payer pipe dream.

Are there any good candidates out there to run against Sullivan, Deen and Pearson? Remember how good old Mike Fisher was vanquished after his stewardship of the single payer fiasco?

Jeffrey D. Marshall
8 months 4 days ago

As a progressive who supports the goal of reducing carbon emissions, I have just two words for this proposal: utter madness. Oh, two more words: political suicide.

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

I am extremely proud of the sponsors of this bill. Politics at its finest. Doing what is actually right for the future of our children. So much easier to just do what’s easy and lazy and ignore the consequences.

Bradford Little
8 months 4 days ago

Even if every argument in favor of this kind of legislation were valid, if ONLY Vermont takes this kind of approach, then Vermont ( residents, part time residents ,visitors, and businesses ) WILL indeed pay a steep price and see no physical return. Passing such legislation for a “feel good about doing something” reason is another exercise in idealistic ignorance of fact.

John Grady
8 months 4 days ago
If higher prices would eliminate consumption it should have happened when gasoline and heating oil was pushing $4.00 a gallon. Back around 2000 fuel was around $1.00 a gallon so we have already had years of higher fuel prices and no drop off in consumption. Their goal is more poverty because they know poor people use less energy. They want to destroy the middle class while having no plans at all to crimp their own lifestyles or else they would be aiming to shut down airports, ski slopes and other wasteful high energy users. The Stowe & Aspen Jet Set… Read more »
Dev Martin
8 months 4 days ago

Most of those who “followed” Jim Jones were injected and not with cyanide and many were instead shot from behind. Prior to that they were held against their will….

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

Gasoline usage DID drop, a LOT, when gas passed 4 dollars. Sales of SUVs and pickups tanked. Sedans made a big come-back every ad mentioned MPG. Now, with gas near 2 dollars, it has reversed to its former state, and MPG has disappeared, because, “who cares”. Fact. Not a great many facts in these comments and not a lot of caring about the future. My truck is not as important as the lives of my great grandchildren. Maybe because my butt isn’t extremely wide.

Bob Stannard
8 months 4 days ago

Based on the number of negative comments posted here it should be pretty clear that we, as stewards of this planet, stand little hope of success in dealing with climate change.

Not to worry, though. The planet will right itself at some point. Its inhabitants will, one day soon, wish that they had taken action to keep the planet from doing so.

Elizabeth Parker
8 months 4 days ago

Bob, Well said!

Jamie Carter
8 months 4 days ago

Bob you are exactly right. The planet will right itself at some point. That’s exactly the way the world works. Every year thousands of species go extinct and another one evolves to take their place. Someday humans will to, allowing a more intelligent species to take over. Who are we to think we are then end all be all and that we can somehow stop climate change and evolution and create a static world where we are the top species, and moreover why would we?

8 months 4 days ago

But Bob, perhaps you missed the story… in the past few weeks both Chris Recchia and Asa Hopkins of the PSD have both admitted that Vermont’s energy policy has nothing to do with global warming. Fixing climate change is not the goal. We are not even interested in influencing other states/countries.

http://watchdog.org/243691/energy-plan-not-about-global-warming/?utm_source=hoot&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=ss

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

It may not be as bad as it seems, Bob. Online commenting brings out the very most ignorant amoung us. Um, that said, I guess I’ll sign out. 🙂

fred moss
8 months 4 days ago

Carbon Tax??????

Who do I send the bill to for the 4 acres of trees that I own?? If the Government can make stuff up, and YES global warming is a giant hoax, then I want someone to pay me for the trees I support that scrub the air.

jason wells
8 months 4 days ago

Thank god I live on the NH border!!!! Did this plan not fail in a big way last session??

Kim Fried
8 months 4 days ago

Bob Standard, you’re right and you can take a good share of the blame for polarizing many concerned and dedicated citizens with you’re constant name calling and redundant preaching which supports nearly every thought that comes out of Monteplier. It appears that you are finally realizing this based on your comment above. Good.
Let’s try solving our=Vermont environmental problems by getting Vermonter=citizens involved rather than having these “who ever they are” legislators make every decision based on saving the world, rather than thinking of the welfare of the citizens they “represent”.

Linus Leavens
8 months 4 days ago

Who benefits from the monetization of carbon? The elites who have prepositioned their investments in carbon trading, carbon sequestration, & climateer profiteering. Not Vermonters. Not We the People .

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

Who benefits from not running out of fossil fuels, and not seriously and permanently altering the atmosphere? Not you, not me. Our great grandchildren. Do we care about them? I hope so.

Randy Jorgensen
8 months 4 days ago

Based on that presumption Bob, you would support NOT increasing the federal borrowing limit so we as good fiscal stewards don’t pass that burden onto our children as future inhabitants of this country. Those children whom have NO say on the matter.

Or does being a good “steward” not go both ways? Perhaps only when it fits your retired political agenda?

Willi Waizenegger
8 months 4 days ago

“Eonomists say the tax is a preferred method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and legislators say they’ve included measures to counteract the regressive nature of the tax.”

It’s also the prefered way to help bankrupt small businesses that depend on getting around the state. Do we really need to drive even more businesses out of state? Seriously, is raising taxes the only thing the state’s super majority knows how to do? Is that really the only thing in their skill set?

And then they scratch their heads wondering why our talented kids don’t come back here after college is done.

Eric Brattstrom
8 months 4 days ago
Many economists would agree that our system (capitalism), in its present form, cannot combat climate change because environmental pollution is almost never reflected in the cost of goods. An obvious solution to the conundrum is a nation-wide carbon pollution tax. For years, independents like Vermont’s own Senator Sanders and Republicans like former Congressman Bob Inglis have been proponents of taxing fossil fuels – because they externalize their pollution costs on the public. They propose returning the revenue raised to people and businesses and helping people make investments in clean energy and conservation measures. Clean energy jobs are solid, good jobs,… Read more »
Ken Swierad
8 months 4 days ago

All I can say is we sure have a lot of “nut cases”in Montpelier!!!
Tax, Tax, Tax, enough, cut as any sane person would do when money is tight. I see where Medicaid is 38 million in the hole, but we can find the funds while we are way LOW in the gas tax revenue, so we will have to raise some taxes?? Why can we find money for one and not the other? CRAZY!!!!!!!!

Mark Moore
8 months 4 days ago

I’m interested in the calculations on this:

“Ninety percent of the revenue generated by the carbon tax would be used to cut other taxes, Sullivan said.

The remaining 20 percent of revenue would pay for energy-saving measures such as improved home insulation and infrastructure for public transportation.”

Wish I could allocate 110% of my revenue!

Townsend Peters
8 months 4 days ago

Sullivan’s bill has 90 percent cutting other taxes and 10 percent going to programs. Digger got it wrong.

8 months 4 days ago

That is what the VTDigger story reports. The 10 percent figure has been corrected. — Cate Chant, VTDigger

Kati Gallagher
8 months 4 days ago

Just to clarify, that’s not how the policy is written- it’s a mistake on the part of the reporter.

8 months 4 days ago

Actually we had it right all along. Commenters have misread the story …

Mark Moore
8 months 4 days ago

If you were correct, why the change?

Glenn Thompson
8 months 4 days ago
I understood the article just fine! From the article, “Ninety percent of the revenue generated by the carbon tax would be used to cut other taxes, Sullivan said.” “The remaining 10 percent of revenue would pay for energy-saving measures such as improved home insulation and infrastructure for public transportation.” First point, this is a great example of “wealth redistribution”. Those who travel a long distance to their jobs or need a vehicle for their jobs, and those independent business owners who delivery products to stores, etc, get crucified under this proposal. Second point, the taxes on fossil fuels, are paid… Read more »
John Greenberg
8 months 4 days ago

Mark Moore:

Two bills are discussed in the article. The Sullivan-Dean bill uses 90% to cut other revenues; the Pearson bill uses 80%. Obviously, in the Sullivan bill, only 10% remains, whereas in the Pearson bill, 20% remains.

Mark Keefe
8 months 4 days ago

“It’s a tax concept I certainly believe in: Tax bad things and try to get people to move away from these things,” Sullivan said. “You do bring in revenue, but you also reduce the impact to society that carbon emissions have. I think there are a lot of people out there who want to see the change this bill would bring about.”
Bravo Mary Sullivan, I am one of those people. I hope to see all legislators who support this bill change over in the next election.

Jodi Lathrop
8 months 4 days ago
Easy solution. Vote in a Governor that will refuse to sign the bill. This legislation is a another nail in the coffin of the wood products industry, agriculture, developers/home builders/excavators. The economy will slow to a grinding halt. You can’t make electricity, wood pellets, biomass wood chips or many other products without burning diesel fuel. To tax it more and more will just drive out competition and cause monopolies to form and when this happens the price of everything will sky rocket. Good plan Montpelier,good to see the plan to ruin free enterprise just like you folks did with healthcare… Read more »
Jan van Eck
8 months 4 days ago
Reader Lathrop’s observation that the tax on liquid fuels will be a “nail in the coffin” of various industries is not totally accurate. Something else will take place. Specifically, the wood pellets and biomass chips business will migrate to Maine. Home builders will migrate to New Hampshire – and people will commute from there to remaining VT jobs, using lower-taxed NH fuels. Agriculture will migrate to Indiana. These economic industries will not be in “the coffin.” They will flow to where the input components naturally allow them to function, if not flourish. It will not be taking place in Vermont,… Read more »
John Greenberg
8 months 4 days ago
“Specifically, the wood pellets and biomass chips business will migrate to Maine.” Why would they do that if the market for their product in Vermont expanded? Yes, producing wood pellets requires some use of fossil fuels, but if fossil fuels are taxed, it is probable that at least some homeowners, currently using fossil fuels for heat, will switch to wood pellets, which because they would not be taxed would obtain a competitive advantage (at least relative to un-taxed pricing). Intuitively, at least, the increase in revenues due to the switch caused by the tax would more than offset the small… Read more »
Jan van Eck
8 months 3 days ago
I should know better than to attempt to respond to anything John Greenberg writes, but here into the Valley of Death I go: The wood pelletizing business will flow to Maine because the business is capital intensive. Larger plants will provide greater economies of scale, and that is where that industry is headed. You then need a large market to absorb the output. Wood pellets are in demand in Europe, and Maine has a number of deep-water ports that specialized chip-carry ships can dock at: Portland, Searsburg. You also need economies of scale in collecting the wood. Maine has historical… Read more »
John Greenberg
8 months 3 days ago
Jan Van Eck: Most of your response has no relevance at all to the proposed Vermont carbon tax under discussion here. In your last 2 paragraphs, you talk about the “great expense” of “industrial boilers being converted,” but simply ignore the fact that some industrial users will either need new systems (new construction) while others will have to replace old ones. This law would provide a bit of an incentive to choose wood over oil. Similarly, if the argument in your last paragraph were correct, there would be no wood pellet stoves in Vermont. Clearly, some folks ARE using them,… Read more »
Willem Post
8 months 3 days ago
Jan, Wood pellets are being exported from the US Southeast to Europe. A study was made of the CO2 emission/kWh. It turns out it is about 12 lb/kWh from forest to exhaust in the UK. Making pellets is notoriously energy intensive, and then shipping them to the UK, etc, makes it worse. Here is an excerpt from this article. I hope it will be posted on VTDigger: http://www.theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2225851/economics-and-co2-emissions-montpelier-district-heating-plant THE TRAVESTY OF US SOUTHEAST WOOD PELLET EXPORTS TO EUROPE A 2013 study, published in Environmental Research Letters, analyzed the CO2 equivalent emissions of exporting wood pellets from the US Southeast to… Read more »
Doug Hoffer
8 months 4 days ago

“Eliminate all fuels taxes and let the market decide what people want.”

It is the failure of the market to account for the immense and destructive external impacts of fossil fuels that got us into this mess. The “market” is not really suited to solving such problems.

Jan van Eck
8 months 3 days ago
Not at all. The market has been savagely distorted by governmental action. Specifically, after WWII various regulatory bodies kept electric street-car and electric inter-urban fares arbitrarily low. With rapid inflation, the streetcar companies instantly ran in the red, and folded. You used to be able to travel by inter-urban from Iowa to Maine, on interconnecting cars. Those souped-up trolleys routinely ran at 95 mph. I have actually operated one of these antique machines on a museum track, and can assure you they were fabulous machines. Government policy built vast road networks, including the Iterstates, but more tellingly “parkways” around major… Read more »
David Bell
8 months 3 days ago

The market has utterly failed to regulate nearly every major environmental crisis or significant health crisis seen over the past few decades.

Government regulations were the only thing to curb smoking, pollution causing acid rain, use of chemicals that have caused ozone depletion or CO2 emissions.

Show me a list of countries whose unregulated capitalistic markets have resulted in the curbing of negative externalities associated with pollution.

Doug Hoffer
8 months 3 days ago
You “rather suspect”? You could easily check my bio, which would tell you that I have spent exactly 7.5 years in government service (5 municipal and 2.5 state). I am 64 so that is hardly “a lifetime.” Moreover, your inference that only those working in the private sector can truly understand markets is challenged by those who brought us the Great Recession. My view about the market’s inability to account for the massive and destructive externalities caused by fossil fuels is shared by most economists, so they are not really new or “unique insights” that I need to justify. As… Read more »
William Hays
8 months 1 day ago

I believe our trolley system, and, to a lesser extent, the interurbans fell victims of the cabal of General Motors, Firestone Tires, and Standard Oil, and a few smaller entities, under the guise of “National City Lines”. They bought up the over-taxed trolley systems, for a song, junked them, and substituted buses, made by GM, running on Firestones, and fueled by Standard Oil. They were found guilty of ‘restraint of trade’, or somesuch, and paid a ~$2,000.00 fine!

John McClaughry
8 months 3 days ago
I agree that harmful externalities from fossil fuel combustion need to be accounted for. That’s why we make fossil fuel plants install scrubbers and use lower sulfur coal. That’s because coal burning gives us SO2 acid rain and other respiratory assaults (as well as environmental damage from coal mining). However CO2 is not a harmful externality. It is, basically, plant food, which is why hothouse operators enrich the inside atmosphere with CO2 to get more value from their crops. There is no scientific proof that the increase in atmospheric CO2 from 3 molecules per 10,000 to 4 molecules per 10,000… Read more »
John Greenberg
8 months 2 days ago

John McClaughry:

These proposed laws would largely impact oil, natural gas and coal as well as their derivatives. In addition to sulphur oxides, all of fuels also emit nitrogen oxides, which are also acknowledged toxins. Accordingly, your own logic suggests that you should support the law since, in your words: “harmful externalities from fossil fuel combustion need to be accounted for.” In other words, we do not need to debate the merits of the greenhouse gas theory in order to support these bills.

Bill Christian
8 months 3 hours ago

Most intelligent people disagree with you. “I’m not a climate scientist” but tripling the fourth-largest component of our atmosphere, bringing it permanently up to a level that last existed before mammals existed (not just humans), when the world was a steaming tropical swamp… maybe it’ll be okay, but what if it ain’t, as seems very likely?

Homer Sulham
8 months 4 days ago

If anyone thinks the poor or middle class will benefit from this has never learned anything from the past.

Irene Stewart
8 months 4 days ago
After reading the column and many comments written by some who drank the ‘kool aid” , I truly believe that this carbon tax will NOT be voted in by the Vermont Legislature. Why? Businesses will close. Tourists will NOT come to Vermont. People who currently have to commute one hour or more to get to work five days a week, will decide to stay home, go on welfare, food stamps, LIHEAP, Medicaid, etc., and it will cost the State of Vermont millions of dollars in lost revenue, and more in tax revenues to support them all. Many, many houses will… Read more »
Ralph Colin
8 months 4 days ago

Proposers of this carbon tax have one objective in mind: establishing a new record to go into the Guinness Book.

First state to have no residents at all!

William Hays
8 months 4 days ago

Wow! Even the Dems and Progs agree it’s ‘do-able’: lowering the sales tax! Let’s join our neighbors in NH and reduce it to zero! Nada; nichivo nil; nunca; nic; nul, et al. Maybe the New Hampshireites would shop in Vermont!

Rich Lachapelle
8 months 4 days ago

This taxation proposal with a “rebate” for low income folks will mimic our present property tax structure with it’s rebate system. This allows people who can show ON PAPER a “low income” to skirt the tax like the trust-funders and independently wealthy do now with their property taxes.

The environmental benefits will be negligible.
The economic and social devastation will be enormous. This is one more step by the DemoProgs to turn Vermont into a theme park for the rich and those who can use creative accounting to live large and pretend to be “low income”.

Elections have consequences…

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