Opinion: States must take steps to cut carbon emissions
It’s encouraging to see the president of the United States taking steps toward reducing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The plan says that “power plant owners must cut carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.”
This is significant; about a third of U.S. emissions of CO2 come from power stations. However, this new plan does not do enough, we are still on the path to increase average temperatures by more than two degrees centigrade, and that is not good.
It’s time for states to step up to the plate and take action to cut their carbon emissions. Pricing carbon pollution is the single most important step we can take to reduce emissions in the state. Vermont does not produce any fossil fuels; therefore, we need to import all oil and gas that we burn. The money we spend on fossil fuels directly leaves the state and goes straight into the pockets of Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and others.
These fossil fuel companies pollute our airspace for free, and we pay for it with our health, environmental health and money. It’s time to hold fossil fuel companies financially accountable for their pollution. That’s why implementing a carbon pollution tax would reduce carbon emissions by using less fossil fuels, create Vermont jobs in weatherization and energy efficiency, and lower taxes.
It’s imperative that Vermont take bold action to address global warming. Pricing carbon pollution will help our economy.