Rep. Stanley supports legislation to promote green infrastructure and reduce carbon emissions

In a letter to the chairmen of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, Rep. Stanley expressed his support for House Bill 2810, legislation that would institute carbon pollution pricing in Massachusetts. Fossil fuels are the primary drivers of climate change and should therefore be priced to reflect the health and environmental problems they cause. One of the most effective steps a government can take to fight global warming is to put a fee on carbon. Here in Massachusetts, doing so would reduce our fossil fuel dependence, accelerate the shift to greater use of renewable energy, and incentivize us to increase energy efficiency. Carbon fees would also greatly help put us on the path to achieve the critical long-term mandate of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) – an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

H.2810 specifically allocates 70% of the money generated by putting a price on carbon to households and employers via rebates, and the remaining 30% (an estimated $400-600 million a year) to be put into a new Green Infrastructure Fund that would support clean transportation, climate resilience and renewable energy projects. Under the bill, carbon pollution charges would start at $20 per ton before increasing by $5 annually until the fee is $40 per ton. The rebates in H.2810 are set up in a thoughtful way to minimize the impacts on poor and working people from increased energy or transportation costs due carbon pollution fees. Furthermore, the bill guarantees that a significant percent of the revenue that’s generated would be spent in low-income communities that have little access to the green economy and/or lack access to public transit.

H.2810 is a revenue-positive bill that would (1) incentivize people to change behaviors and reduce their carbon footprint, and (2) allow the Commonwealth to invest in renewable energy and green infrastructure projects. Because people and businesses will cut their expenditures on imported fossil fuels, gross state product, disposable income, and employment will all increase.