Carbon pricing is a regressive tax. The frequent proposals for carbon pricing fail to correctly describe this idea. If enacted, it would be a sales or retail tax on the sale of energy, gasoline, home heating fuel oil, etc. These taxes are regressive and hit the lowest income the hardest.

Furthermore, if enacted by our Legislature, the tax revenues would be subject to the Appropriation process. You can’t bind a future Legislature on the use of future tax revenues.

A more equitable way to raise revenues for climate change programs is through progressive state and federal income taxes and distribute that revenue into infrastructure and rebates to help wean folks onto more renewable sources of energy.

But, fossil fuels are going to be around awhile since there is no immediate and quick replacement. It will take time and money but let’s make sure we don’t hurt the poor in making these reforms.


Barbara Alexander


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