This is by Bruce Parker @ Vermont Watchdog.

It must be much warmer in Vermont that it is in Indiana if they are worried but globull warming.

The tree huggers in Vermont are talking about a tax up to $1.35 per gallon of gas in addition the they are taxed now on gas in Vermont.

 

Gas prices have fallen a buck on average in most states, putting more money back in motorists’ wallets.

In Vermont, however, environmental groups are proposing a tax to grab that buck from drivers and give it to the state to stop global warming.

Energy Independent Vermont, a coalition led by Vermont Public Interest Research Group, 350.org and other prominent organizations, is backing a carbon tax on gasoline and other fuels that could raise gas prices as much as $1.35. The tax would effectively erase the economic benefits Vermonters are currently enjoying at the pump.

Gas prices have fallen sharply since last summer. West Texas Intermediate oil prices dropped below $50 a barrel briefly Monday, sending gasoline to its lowest prices in five years.

The price of oil began dropping last fall, but accelerated rapidly in late November when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided against lowering oil production. Combined with increased fracking on private land in the United States, the strong supply of petroleum has caused gasoline prices to drop to lows common to the Bush-era presidency.

While national gas prices averaged $2.18 per gallon Monday, motorists across the 50 states saw a wide range of prices at the pump. Vermont and New York posted prices at the high end of the range ($2.66 and $2.70), while Missouri and Oklahoma offered the lowest gas prices in the nation ($1.85 and $1.86).

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. oil production has grown to more than 9 million barrels per day, up from 5.7 million barrels per day in 2011. Production is expected to reach 9.3 million barrels in 2015, further reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

Moreover, EIA data indicates the increased oil production will cause annual household gas expenditures to drop to $1,962 in 2015 — down from about $2,700 in 2012. The annual spending on gas is the lowest in 11 years.

The good news for Vermonters may not last, however, as the carbon tax could quickly erase the economic benefits Vermonters are currently enjoying at the pump.

According to Energy Independent Vermont, the carbon tax plan proposes a tax of between $50 and $150 per ton of CO2 emissions for Vermont businesses that distribute gasoline, heating oil, natural gas, propane and diesel. The group claims the tax would grab $35 million of revenue for the state in the year 2017. By the year 2030, the tax could collect anywhere between $250 million and $700 million from Vermonters, depending on the rate. Of those new revenues, 10 percent of the tax dollars would automatically go to renewable energy companies.

The group’s economic policy report, which claims a carbon tax will lead to thousands of new jobs and a 2 million ton drop in CO2 emissions, acknowledges funding from renewable energy business moguls including David Blittersdorf and Mathew Rubin.

Blittersdorf, the CEO of AllEarth Renewables in Williston, was a former VPIRG trustee. Rubin, president of Spruce Mountain Design and East Haven Windfarm, is a current VPIRG trustee.

On Monday, the Ethan Allen Institute, a free-market think tank in Vermont, blasted the carbon tax with a radio ad blitz.

In the ad, the announcer asks: “Are you ready to pay a new $1.35 tax on gasoline? … What do you think? A good idea, or a bad idea?” The commercial urges listeners to express their opinion through an online carbon tax survey.

Rob Roper, the group’s president, told Vermont Watchdog the survey generated more than 600 responses by early Monday morning, with 92 percent of respondents voting no to the proposed carbon tax.

Roper’s group predicts the tax would hammer the middle class and force Vermonters to cross the border to New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts to purchase gasoline.

Environmentalists, however, say a tax on “carbon pollution” is necessary to stop the planet from getting too hot. According to the Energy Independent Vermont policy overview:

We have a responsibility to tackle the root cause of global warming. That means we have to stop allowing oil and gas companies to pollute Vermont for free. Our plan will require these companies to pay a tax on the carbon pollution created by the fossil fuels they sell.

Data from Climate Depot, a site that tracks monthly global temperatures, shows the planet hasn’t seen temperature increases in more than 18 years. Moreover, a recent study from NASA researchers found the earth’s tropical rainforests are soaking up carbon dioxide at rates far beyond prior projections, helping mitigate the impact of CO2 in the atmosphere. The scientists say the world’s forests absorb an estimated 1.5 billion tons of CO2 annually, speeding forest growth and neutralizing the impact of the naturally occurring gas on the ozone.

Vermonters who wonder about saving the planet from overheating may have good reason to want to hold on to their hard-earned cash: the Green Mountain State could hit -15 degrees this week as lawmakers head back to work at the capital.

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