Commercial, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Regulation, Finance  -  November 1, 2017

Vermont biz group pushes for carbon tax

 A major Vermont business group is working to re-frame the argument for a carbon tax as an economic development opportunity for the state. 

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, alongside the Vermont Natural Resources Council, recently hosted a public event on the topic of climate action as an economic opportunity, arguing that a state tax on carbon emissions, plus the impact of existing and related clean energy jobs, will benefit the state's economy and, ultimately, all of its residents, according to a report from The Associated Press. 

The business group is made up of 750 members, including champion members include Ben & Jerry's, Keurig Green Mountain, National Life Group, NRG Systems and Seventh Generation. 

"We want a policy that returns the (carbon) tax money in either tax breaks for dividends to low and moderate income families, and (make sure) it's a policy that puts them ahead of the game," the AP quoted Daniel Barlow, VBSR's public policy director, as saying in response to arguments made by Vermont Republicans, who have argued that a tax would harm Vermonters. By using tax policy as an instrument for behavioral change, the AP said Barlow believe Vermont can redirect the $2 billion it now spends on fossil fuels into a local clean-energy economy.

"We don't have coal mines here, there's no gas plants, so 90% of that money we're spending is going right out of state, into the pockets of folks like Exxon-Mobil," Barlow said, according to the AP.

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