2017/8 Carbon Pollution Fee and Rebate Bills
Reflecting growing political support for economy-wide carbon pollution fee and rebate, new bills have been introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature for the 2017-18 session that would put a price on carbon pollution.
Senator Mike Barrett, An Act Combating Climate Change (S. 1821)
Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) is sponsoring S.1821, “An Act combating climate change,” similar to last session’s S.1747 which had the support of nearly one-quarter of the legislature (47 co-sponsors). It would establish a common-sense fee-and-rebate system of carbon pollution fees charged to fossil fuel importers. The revenues from those fees would go into a dedicated fund, from which each state resident would receive an equal rebate, and employers would get rebates based on their number of employees. All the funds would be used for rebates, in order to minimize any increased costs in living and doing business. Since low- and moderate-income households tend to use less energy than wealthier ones, on average they would come out ahead, but everyone would have an incentive to reduce their use of fossil fuel in order to pay less in fees.
Representative Jennifer Benson, “An Act to promote green infrastructure, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs (H.1726)
Representative Jennifer Benson (D-37th Middlesex) is sponsoring H.1726, “An Act to promote green infrastructure, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs.” Like Senator Barrett’s bill, it would establish a carbon-fee-and-rebate system and assure that low- and moderate-income households would come out ahead or even. But Benson’s bill would use 20 percent of the revenues to fund green infrastructure directly, including transportation improvements, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and protection against the expected impacts of climate change.
In addition, two other bills dealing with energy-related matters include carbon pricing provisions:
- Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), is sponsoring S.479, “An Act relative to 2030 and 2040 emissions benchmarks.” As part of a bill to assure compliance with the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), it would authorize the Commonwealth to “create, expand, or join market-based compliance mechanisms, including but not limited to greenhouse gas emissions trading and carbon pricing programs,” in order to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions reductions required by the GWSA.
- Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose (3rd Hampshire), is sponsoring HD. 1948, “An Act relative to creating energy jobs.” As part of a larger initiative to make Massachusetts “the Silicon Valley of the new energy economy,” Goldstein-Rose’s bill also would establish a carbon-fee-and-rebate system similar to that in the Barrett and Benson bills.