Carbon Tax Warriors Keep Up The Fight

by John McClaughry

Vermont’s  carbon tax advocates are working hard to build support for their four carbon tax bills in the 2018 legislature.

An example is the August 24 promotional meeting at the Montshire Museum in Norwich, reported on by Patrick O’Grady of the Valley News.

Summarizing the carbon tax line put forth at the meeting, O’Grady wrote “taking aggressive action in Vermont to address climate change will not only yield environmental and health benefits but also present a tremendous economic opportunity for the state.”

Reported O’Grady, “strong support was expressed” – at least by the people who organized the meeting – “for a carbon pollution tax meant to raise revenue, curb consumption of fossil fuels, and further expand the clean energy economy.”

Translate those three points, and here’s what you get. A carbon tax will raise revenue all right – $500 million in new taxes in the tenth year of the program, paid by Vermonters who drive their vehicles, heat their homes, and operate their businesses. Ouch! The carbon tax will curb consumption of fossil fuels, because thousands or even hundreds of thousands of lower and middle income Vermonters won’t be able to afford gasoline, diesel, heating oil, propane and natural gas. OLuch! And the carbon tax will further expand the clean energy economy, because the state will use your tax dollars to subsidize wind and solar electricity that can’t compete without a subsidy.

What a deal! On second thought, forget it.

- John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom September 8, 2017 at 9:25 pm

that’s ok I will get gas in NewHampsher or Mass or new yourk and in NH I will pick up other things and not pay a sale tax

Reply

Jim Bulmer September 9, 2017 at 12:29 am

Tax, tax, tax will bring an economic benefit to Vermont??????? No wonder this guy wants marajuna legalized. It’s this kind of misguided thinking which has put Vermont’s economy in the tank. Where oh where is Vermont’s youth. Long gone and it’s up to us old fokes to pay the piper.

Reply

Robert September 11, 2017 at 4:36 pm

You can’t elect the same spendaholics time and again and expect different results.

Reply

Linda Kirker September 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

If a business idea has merit, it will be embraced by the public and will not require subsidization by Vermont’s already overburdened taxpayers. It will fly on its own merits. Wind and solar projects that deface our farm land and mountain ridgelines will deter potential visitors to Vermont from coming to enjoy our beautiful mountains and landscape, thereby diminishing tourism income to the state . We surely do not need taxes of any kind increased in this state.
Vermont has such a miniscule carbon “footprint” that it simply makes no sense to burden businesses and homeowners by taxing them to subsidize “green energy” .
Vermont already has too few businesses and jobs. One more tax will only drive out
businesses and Vermonters to seek “greener pastures” elsewhere. Then who will pay the taxes?
Vermonters need to impress upon our elected officials that it is urgent for them to have Vermont’s government agencies and departments audited for efficiency and effectiveness. An unbiased audit will reveal that Vermont’s government is too large and costly. The audit should be done by an auditor outside of government.

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
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