With new EPA carbon standards just around the corner there has never been a more opportune time to implement a revenue neutral carbon tax. Yet even with ½ of all Americans in support of the idea, legislation at the federal level remains elusive. With the partisan divide in Congress continuing, the likelihood of a top-down federal carbon tax remains unlikely.
We know that if left unchecked, climate change will be devastating to our nation and the world, causing significant infrastructure damage, lower property values and economic loss for businesses small and large. Both international and national scientific reports have shown repeatedly that continued inaction will only increase these threats.
The new EPA carbon pollution standards will provide states with the flexibility to enact proper regulation and utilize strengths on a state by state basis. As a first step for Massachusetts a revenue-neutral carbon tax would be a logical and necessary approach allowing us to cut emissions while meeting energy needs and growing the green economy.
Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator, to release statement Monday on Carbon Pollution Standards
Massachusetts is in a great position to be a leader on this issue. As a participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) (pronounced “reggie”), we already have experience administering a fee on carbon emissions. As the national leader on energy efficiency three years in a row and a top 10 state on renewable energy implementation, Massachusetts is poised to take the next step in showing the way to a comprehensive, revenue neutral carbon tax.
While a federal carbon tax won’t happen anytime soon, the new EPA regulations should be a powerful step and opportunity for states to experiment with effective carbon regulation. Massachusetts business leaders, policy makers, and community stakeholders must come together to make a revenue neutral carbon tax happen here, so that other states can follow.