VCRD climate council to Legislature: Take a look at carbon pricing

The highly-regarded Vermont Council on Rural Development released its Vermont Climate Change Economy Council “Progress for Vermont” report and action plan today. The Council, chaired by Federal District Judge William Sessions, spent a full year engaging Vermont citizens, businesses and institutions around the challenge of advancing the Vermont economy in an age of climate change. Their plan is a bold call to action including “seven recommendations to advance economic activity that addresses the challenge of climate change by reducing and mitigating carbon impacts while spurring innovation and creativity, encouraging entrepreneurism, attracting youth, and building jobs for the future.”

Step 5 specifically calls for the legislature to take a serious look at a carbon pollution price:

“…the Council recommends that the Vermont legislature evaluate the feasibility and viability of a carbon pricing or trading system in Vermont and its ability to send market signals to reduce the impacts of climate change, stimulate economic opportunities, and support Vermonters and businesses as the transition to a less carbon intensive future.”

The council further recommends that a carbon pricing program should:

• Ensure equity for all Vermonters
• Target tax cuts to balance the impact of carbon pricing
• Gradually introduces the program
• Immediately boost economic activity through bonding
• Create jobs
• Encourage regional participation and
• be fully transparent

Energy Independent Vermont is thrilled that the Vermont Council on Rural Development and the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council have offered this report and action plan. We look forward to working with the Councils to implement their proposal.

Read the full report below: