Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry's Lead the Call for a Carbon Tax in Vermont
BICEP members Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry's are leading the charge in trying to get their home state of Vermont to become the first U.S. state to implement a carbon tax.
Working with the group Energy Independent Vermont, Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry's have helped to recruit over 500 Vermont businesses and more than 25,000 Vermonters in support of the carbon tax proposal. A carbon price is viewed by many as a market-based and cost-effective solution to reducing the harmful emissions that contribute climate change.
Two bills have been introduced in the Vermont House this session (H.395 and H.412) that would establish a fee per metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted by fossil fuels. In both pieces of legislation, up to 90 percent of the revenue collected would be offset by reductions in other taxes or through tax credits, and a portion would specifically help to relieve low-income earners. The state's electric utilities - whose carbon emissions are already regulated under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - would not be included in this plan.
While a carbon tax is not expected to pass this year, thanks to the efforts of Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry's, the proposal is gathering significant steam. Vermont has set a goal of reducing state-wide greenhouse gas emissions 75 percent by 2050, and a carbon price would significantly help the state achieve that target.
BICEP members Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry's, and Burton Snowboards have also been leading the effort on a Vermont Business Climate Declaration; interested businesses can join the campaign here.