Today, two dozen House legislators announced carbon pricing bill H.791 as part of a coordinated, multi-state effort. This is a companion bill to S.284, the Senate version introduced by Senators Chris Pearson and Alison Clarkson earlier this month.
Lead sponsor Representative Sarah Copeland-Hanzas modeled H.791 after the ESSEX Plan by pricing carbon pollution and using the revenue to provide clean electricity rebates to all Vermonters, with additional support for rural and low-income Vermonters. Despite Governor Scott’s unwillingness to even learn more about the ESSEX plan, it has the support of business, low-income and environmental advocates, and nearly 30 legislators have stepped up to co-sponsor carbon pricing legislation this session.
The roll out of this bill coincides with the announcement of Vermont’s participation in the Carbon Costs Coalition. This nine-state coalition includes legislators in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Washington and Oregon, all pushing carbon pricing legislation. Each state is proposing different carbon pricing legislation to best fit their context, but all bills are bound to the shared principles of reducing carbon emissions, ensuring equity, spurring resilience in local economies and improving public health. The Carbon Costs Coalition demonstrates the state-based movement for carbon pricing and climate action at a time devoid of leadership from Washington DC.
Energy Independent Vermont fully supports the ESSEX Plan bills and will be following them closely throughout the session. We encourage you to contact your legislators today and urge them to support the House and Senate bills to put a price on carbon pollution and slash clean electricity rates.