Massachusetts state Senator Michael J. Barrett, who has worked on renewable energy issues, said the verdict ”couldn’t come at a better time,” especially in light of delays in the state’s efforts to create offshore wind farms near Martha’s Vineyard.
While the timeline on the project is uncertain, Barrett said that with the court decision, “It’s good to know that clean hydro from Quebec is likely headed our way.”
Boston – Inside a packed State House hearing room, businesspeople, economists, faith leaders, civic groups and concerned citizens pushed for a ground-breaking proposal to tackle global warming. The standing-room only crowd urged the legislative committee to approve S.1747, An Act combating climate change, filed by State Senator Mike Barrett, D-Lexington. The bill places a charge on dirty fuel emissions that contribute to global warming and then returns the money — in direct rebates — to residents, businesses and non-profits.
“We have to step up our fight against climate change,” Barrett told the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. He explained that the idea is “effectively a user fee on pollution.”
“British Columbia, with its population of about 4.4 million people, first imposed a carbon tax in 2008 as part of the province’s climate action plan. By 2012, the province had hit its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 6 percent below 2007 levels at the same time that British Columbia’s population was growing and its gross domestic product climbed 9 percent.”
“This is carbon pricing,” State Senator Mike Barrett said, “and the idea is to make it a little more expensive to pollute, a little more expensive to buy something that results in the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — which is the greenhouse gas that causes climate change — make it a little more expensive to do all that, but then you send the money back so that you spend it on something less polluting.”
In the The Boston Globe, Mike Ross writes on my bill to combat climate change by pricing carbon:
“The idea of a lone state like Massachusetts getting out ahead of the rest of the country and leading a program of this magnitude might strike some as incredulous. But this is precisely what the Commonwealth has been doing on a host of issues — from marriage equality to health care. Being ahead of the curve is a good thing, especially when our future depends on it.”
This just in. Yikes. For the urgent consideration of the new Mass. Legislature, I’m proposing “An Act Combatting Climate Change.” Pollution and health are huge expenses excluded from the prices of “fossil fuels” like coal, oil and natural gas; the taxpayer gets whacked with the expense later on. If you want to reduce emissions, clean the air and cool the planet, ask us Mass. state legislators to go where British Columbia has already gone — to honest full pricing for fossil fuels.
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