New carbon pricing plan unveiled by business leaders

Last week, Ashley Orgain of Seventh Generation, an EIV business supporter, unveiled a new plan to price carbon pollution at the 2017 Vermont Energy and Climate Summit. Of all the policy pitches made at the summit, Orgain’s was voted the most popular by attendees – by far.

Orgain calls it the ESSEX Plan – a Economy Strengthening Strategic Energy eXchange. The idea is that revenues from a price on carbon would be used to slash electric rates for all Vermonters. Additional incentives would also be provided for working class and rural Vermonters.

The new proposal is described as both “revenue-neutral” and “an investment in clean energy.” That’s because it would return all revenues to Vermonters through a rebate on their electric bills — and it would also incentivize the transition to clean energy by making electrification cheaper and more attractive (remember, Vermont has one of the cleanest electric mixes in the country, and it gets cleaner every year).

This plan would deliver Vermonters the cleanest electricity in the region at the lowest rates in the region and it would ensure that low- and middle-income folks are prioritized.

We are excited by this new proposal, which satisfies the three major goals of our coalition:

-Significantly reduce carbon emissions

-Strengthens the Vermont economy

-Prioritizes low and middle income Vermonters

We look forward to further discussing this proposal, and hope to push our legislators to turn this into legislation early in the 2018 legislative session.

To view the entire proposal, visit: