Letter to the editor: Carbon tax would benefit Vermont

For over 4 decades, I’ve been watching the debate over U.S. hydrocarbon fuel consumption, (i.e. petroleum). In 1973 we had fuel rationing and long lines because OPEC flexed its muscles. it happened again in 1979. At the time, I naively thought; once we’re not dependent on imported oil everything will be great! I’ll spare you all the boring details of what transpired in the last 40 years of energy production and consumption, and bring us up to the wake-up call of global warming.
For any of you who doubt this reality, I offer the following observation. As a kid in the 1950’s, I used to play in our basement coal bin. I discovered fossils in the coal; fossils from tropical plants. Consequently, as a very young child, I decided that during the age when coal was formed, (i.e. carbon was being sequestered), the northern hemisphere was a very tropical environment. In college, I discovered this was called the Carboniferous Era. Is it too much of an intellectual leap to assume that once all that sequestered carbon is once again released into the atmosphere the climate will again become tropical? I rest my case.
Now on to the point of the current debate. Perhaps the term “carbon tax” should be replaced by saying; this is intended to become a “Behavior Modification Tool.” Simply stated, if your pocketbook is affected, perhaps your mind will follow. The objective is not to punish anyone for the economic/carbon choices they make; rather offer them alternatives to save money. I’m currently paying $2.76 a gallon for fuel oil. Wood pellets are $240 a ton, which translates to about 80 percent of the cost per BTU of oil. (assuming you are using state of the art systems for both fuels). Consequently, I could save nearly $1,000 per year burning only wood pellets. That would help the Vermont economy as well. How would any large out-of-state corporations benefit from this arrangement … as suggested by the Ethan Allen Institute lecture?
I will go on; I have a wind turbine and solar panels, yes, I paid for them myself, but there are community based financing options for all of you reading this to do the same. You don’t need to be a pawn. A carbon tax is only what you allow your legislators to pass and adopt. To give you all something to think about, please read the article below from the New York Times about a similar initiative in British Columbia. tinyurl.com/y8lb3g48.
Remember, the objective of any Carbon Tax Program, is to offset our pain in one area by savings in another … all within the state of Vermont. There is no implied or stated intention to benefit any out-of-state individuals or corporations — that is purely hype. I am not a candidate, nor associated with any. I’ve just been studying this issue since graduate school at UVM in the 1990’s.
Ralph Shepard

Share this story:

More News
US Probation Office Uncategorized

US Probation Office Request for Proposals

US Probation Office 2×1.5 062024 RFP

Middlebury American Legion Uncategorized

Middlebury American Legion Annual Meeting

Middlebury American Legion 062024 1×1.5 Annual Meeting

Sports Uncategorized

MAV girls’ lax nets two triumphs

The Mount Abraham-Vergennes cooperative girls’ lacrosse team moved over .500 with a pair o … (read more)

Share this story: