Apparently “feeling the burn” doesn’t apply to residents of Vermont, the home state of Bernie Sanders. From Watchdog.org:
On the campaign trail in nearby New Hampshire, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders bangs the drum for a carbon tax and single-payer health care — despite the failure of both in his home state of Vermont.
When it comes to progressive causes, the left has no greater champion than Vermont’s junior senator. On the environment, Sanders proposes a national tax to cut carbon levels by 80 percent by 2050. His campaign site calls it “one of the most straightforward and cost-effective strategies for quickly fighting climate change.”
But in Vermont, where a proposed carbon tax is now in its second year of seeking legislative support, backers are struggling to convince the public the policy is environmentally or economically sound.
The carbon tax legislation calls for a $100 per ton of carbon emissions tax on gasoline, propane, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Proponents say a carbon tax will slash Vermont’s carbon emissions by 2 million tons annually and direct tax revenue to weatherization and energy efficiency programs. Critics blast the tax as regressive, arguing it will harm Vermonters whose pocketbooks are sensitive to fluctuations in gas prices.
Either way, the tax is projected to boost the cost of gasoline by up to 88 cents per gallon, assuming fuel distributors pass the cost on to consumers. A gallon of propane would rise 58 cents; heating oil and diesel fuel could jump $1.02 per gallon.
While the tax may nudge many Vermonters to fill up vehicles in nearby states like New York and New Hampshire, there’s a bigger problem: carbon-tax backers admit it won’t change global CO2 levels.
Faced with the prospect that Vermont’s carbon tax can do little — maybe nothing — to help global warming, Paul Burns, executive director of the pro-carbon-tax Vermont Public Interest Research Group, recently said during a Montpelier debate, “Alone, sure, we can’t do it.”
Perhaps not even together. In that debate, panelists were considering the provocative findings of economist Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center. CO2 reduction initiatives in the just-wrapped 2015 Paris Climate Summit agreement, Lomborg concludes, will reduce global temperatures by only one-sixth of one degree by the end of the century.
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