The goal of this campaign is to enact a Fair Carbon Pricing similar to the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund. This trust is funded by a non-bypassable surcharge of $0.0005 per kWh on all electric utility customer since 1998 to fund conservation, renewable and alternative energy programs. The fund has made Massachusetts the most energy efficient state in the nation, based on Forbes magazine. This fund received $23 Million in 2011 alone, with annual revenue dropping since overall electrical use has declined. This same approach can be used to reduce fossil fuel use. Subsidizing investments in conservation and alternative energy can have a direct and measured reduction in emissions. Such a program also creates jobs within the state.
A revenue-neutral carbon tax redistributes income but does not guarantee investments in efforts to reduce emissions. Also, lower income families can become dependent on “Carbon Tax income” for basic needs instead of investing to reduce their own footprint. The revenue-neutral approach is also impacted by short and long-term market dynamics. The price of a barrel of oil was around $35 in 2004, $105 in July 2014, and by October of 2014 prices have collapsed to the low $80s and continued price declines are expected. Such massive declines in Carbon Fuel pricing reduces the effectiveness of a revenue-neutral Carbon Tax in reducing emissions.
The goal for this campaign is: passage of legislation in Massachusetts to put a Fair Carbon Pricing plan, to provide funding for conservation, renewable energy and alternative energy programs, on the ballot for 2016.