This week’s Bad Bill of the Week is “An Act to Combat Climate Change,” which would create a statewide carbon fuel tax. This would raise the price of gasoline and heating fuel throughout Massachusetts. It was filed by Sen. Michael Barrett (D – Lexington) and public hearings on the bill were held this week.
If the bill passes, the sale of any carbon based fuel, which means almost anything used to power cars or heat homes, would be taxed at $40 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions. In British Columbia, which imposes a fee of $30 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions, gas prices have increased by 24 cents a gallon. The impact would be greater here, given the relative scarcity of fuel compared to British Columbia.
Supporters of the bill argue it isn’t a tax since the money would be paid into a fund that would provide rebates to residents and businesses. However, there’s no way of knowing if the rebate would be equivalent to the increased costs. What we do know is that businesses would face higher costs, homeowners would pay higher bills, and anyone who owns a car would feel more pain at the pump. This isn’t what Massachusetts needs from its’ legislators.