As President Trump continues to dismantle federal air pollution and climate change regulations, a coalition of community groups, environmental organizations, business leaders, and faith communities in Massachusetts are creating their own hope. For the past four months, the Campaign for a Clean Energy Future* has been building a strong, widespread base of support around two bills they believe to be instrumental in the fight against climate change.
The bills call for a price on carbon pollution in Massachusetts — the most efficient and effective way to reduce emissions. The idea is simple: once fossil fuels cross state lines, a fee is levied on them to encourage usage of clean, renewable energy rather than dirty energy. One of the bills, H.1726, calls for 20% of the revenue to be reinvested into a Green Infrastructure Fund, and the rest to be rebated back to households and businesses. S.1821 rebates 100% of the revenue back to households and businesses.
After working around the clock, the coalition brought out 200 people last week to Carbon Pricing Lobby Day at the Massachusetts State House. Now, the campaign has reached a pivotal moment. In order to move forward, the legislation must be passed out of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy (TUE).
The TUE committee will hold the hearing on the two pending bills tomorrow (June 20th) at 1pm, and the coalition expects the hearing room to be packed. If you live in Massachusetts, consider attending the hearing — they’ve lined up more than 40 experts and advocates to testify on behalf of the bills, so it should be a good show.
One of the organization leading the campaign is Boston-based Climate XChange. The group has been involved in pushing carbon pricing legislation forward for the past four years, and has provided economic research and analysis that the legislation is based on. They now organize the State Carbon Pricing Network as well, providing states across the country with resources and support to create and advance carbon pricing campaigns. They see state level action as pivotal in today’s federal political climate.
To support this important work, Climate XChange is raffling off a Tesla. The winner gets a built-to-order Tesla Model S or X, with the taxes fully paid — a $160,000 value! Prizes go out to sixth place, giving ticket holders a good chance at winning the prize. Entering the Carbon Pricing Awareness Tesla Raffle is a great way to support this legislation, especially if you don’t live in Massachusetts. The raffle is almost over — it ends July 4th, 2017, so get your tickets before it’s too late!
*This post was supported by Climate XChange; images from Climate XChange; images from Climate XChange