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CT Considers a Carbon Tax

March 14, 2017 By Staff
CT Considers a Carbon Tax

Some legislators want Connecticut – and all of New England – to join together for a new tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

‘Tis the season in Connecticut: legislators are considering new ways to tax and regulate in the state. One proposal that came up this week is a law that would tax “carbon pollution” from coal, oil, natural gas, and propane, at the rate of $15 per ton.

More from CT News Junkie‘s Christine Stuart:

The legislation would propose a fee of $15 a ton on carbon pollution that would be levied on petroleum products such as coal, oil, natural gas, propane or any other petroleum products. It would also be levied on electricity generators that use fossil fuels.

The state would then redistribute the tax to residents and businesses, who according to proponents, would be inspired to lower their consumption as a result.

Opponents of the law, though, warn that energy costs will go up if this bill passes, particularly on low income residents in the state:

“There are many reasons that this proposed tax will cause economic harm to Connecticut, but if for no other reason, than the fact that low income residents who already spend a higher portion of their household budget on energy and gasoline,” Gregory Stafstrom, president of Spring Brook Ice & Fuel Service in New Britain, said.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Connecticut emitted 35.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2014. If each metric ton were taxed at $15 a ton, fuel companies would be responsible for $526 million in new taxes on carbon emissions. It’s likely they would pass at least some of that on to consumers.

What’s more, even though the 35.1 million number seems high, Connecticut’s per-person carbon emissions are actually one of the lowest in the nation. This may raise the question, among some legislators, of whether a new tax on carbon emissions is truly necessary.