Sunday, April 21, 2024

From F William Green, of Hammond Street, on May 20: Fred Hewett’s letter to the editor “With carbon tax bill, ‘it’s time that we face the facts’ about the cost of fossil fuels” describes the momentum and rationale for addressing the true environmental and social costs of our fossil fuel habit. He refers to legislation S.1747, currently under consideration in the Massachusetts Senate, that seeks to establish a price on carbon emissions. Now is exactly the time to amp up citizen support for this and other initiatives (increased energy efficiency, renewables, etc.) to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.

Letter“Carbon tax bill” sounds like just another tax in a state with a bad rep: wrong again! As proposed, what is being discussed in this Senate bill is revenue neutral – 100 percent of the fees collected as a result of our fossil fuel purchases would be returned to us as individuals on a per capita basis, and as businesses on a per employee basis. The dynamic around this, a simple marketplace signal, is that the anticipated incremental increase in price of fossil fuels will decrease consumption and will in turn slow and ultimately decrease greenhouse gas emissions, the major contributor to global climate change.

Fair carbon pricing is a well-vetted, socially equitable measure to address the ever more widely documented threats of climate change to our grandchildren and the future habitability of our planet. A revenue-neutral carbon fee system has been working well in the Canadian province of British Columbia, significantly reducing carbon emissions without negative effect on its economy.

Now, with legislation pending, the time is right. And with a remarkably effective and fair mechanism having been developed, let’s understand and welcome fair pricing of carbon as a powerful measure to reduce the commonwealth’s carbon footprint.