On a balmy morning in February, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife advanced H.763 – legislation that calls for a non-partisan, independent economic analysis of different carbon pricing options in Vermont, including the ESSEX Plan. The bill was passed out of committee on a 5-4 vote.
This is the first time that carbon pricing legislation has advanced out of committee in Vermont – a strong signal of momentum building for a full, fair, and funded study of carbon pricing!
This could not have happened without the support and engagement of EIV activists across the state.
Despite recommendations for an impartial study of carbon pricing made by his hand-picked Climate Action Commission, the Climate Solutions Caucus, the Vermont Mayors Coalition, as well as citizens, business leaders, and low-income advocates across the state, Governor Scott is choosing to remain ignorant on this issue and has publicly denounced a study.
Thankfully, legislators have begun to take the lead without the governor.
Tired, baseless rhetoric has been coming from the fossil fuel lobby and the administration for far too long – a funded and impartial study of carbon pricing will put to rest this misinformation and prove once and for all that carbon pricing will indeed benefit Vermont’s people, economy, and environment.
Carbon pricing works – in Vermont and across the world. We’ve commissioned our own independent, economic analyses that have shown carbon pricing is an effective tool for prioritizing Vermont’s most vulnerable, boosting the local economy, and curbing carbon pollution. Nearly 50 jurisdictions around the world have priced carbon pollution. Economists across the political spectrum support carbon pricing as an effective economic and climate policy.
So if an independent study can put the lies of the fossil fuel industry to rest and give our elected officials the information and confidence they need to move forward with carbon pricing – then we need to make sure this study happens.
EIV activists have played a critical role in getting to where we are today – advancing the first carbon pricing legislation out of committee in Vermont. We have a ways to go, but today is a small victory.
We need to build on this momentum, and keep pushing in the full House.