The earlier revenue-neutral New York State Carbon Tax proposal — led mostly by Sara Hsu of SUNY New Paltz and Mark Dunlea of the Green Education and Legal Fund — has now transformed into a combined tax credit and investment proposal, according to the Network For Sustainable Financial Markets.
The transformation means that the proposal would allow for tax credits to low-income groups, in addition to investments into the renewable energy transition; infrastructure investments intended to result in reduced carbon emissions; and climate change mitigation/adaption investments (sea walls, levies, etc).
The transformed bill is currently the attention of the aforementioned leaders who are in the process of building a coalition to introduce the bill into the State Assembly. Amongst others, the coalition features a number of notable environmentalists, economists, and labor-related groups. The current aim is for the bill to be introduced this autumn.
Here’s a bit of background via a recent press release:
A carbon tax offers a market-based solution to climate-altering fossil fuel emissions. Increasing the price of fossil fuels, while protecting the poor, sends a signal to the market to shift from fossil fuel-based energy sources to renewable energy sources, which are steadily becoming available and declining in price. Implementing a carbon tax is a proactive way to combat extreme temperatures and more powerful storms such as Hurricane Sandy.
Carbon taxes are supported by economists and environmentalists alike. As Bill McKibben of 350.org stated, “for a quarter century, economists left, right and center have said we’d benefit from making carbon carry the cost of the damage it causes. This will strengthen New York’s drive to be a leader in the coming green economy.”
As it stands now, the Cuomo administration supports simply letting “the market determine how the energy system is transformed,” rather than direct intervention.
“The reality is that the present system provides a $30 billion plus annual subsidy in NYS to the fossil fuel industry because taxpayers and consumers have to pay for the environmental and health damage it causes. A robust carbon tax is a critical step to ensure that the real costs of burning fossil fuels is paid for by polluters rather than taxpayers,” stated Mark Dunlea.
Certainly true… It’ll be interesting to see if the proposed bill can be passed.
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