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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Burlington Mayor Weinberger Proposes Carbon Fee to VT Legislature

Mayor Miro Weinberger speaks at the REV 2019 Conference. Photo: Barb and Greg Whitchurch.

Barbara Whitchurch

In a press conference held during the final day of the Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) (https://www.revermont.org/) conference in October, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger announced that he will ask the Vermont Legislature to levy a carbon pollution fee on heating and transportation fuels. Joined at the podium by a coalition of environmental and business leaders, Weinberger proposed a statewide “revenue-neutral” carbon pollution fee that would help cut emissions by 37% by 2040. Under this proposal, virtually all of the revenue collected would be rebated back to Vermont households and businesses.

The announcement came as two towns, Norwich and Hartford, declared a “climate emergency” to increase awareness of climate change and encourage more people to take action.

Weinberger stated that Vermont would be part of a coalition of seven mayors of northeastern U.S. cities (bit.do/nem4cc) who have proposed a multi-state “carbon pollution fee” on fossil fuels to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The mayors are asking their legislatures to enact carbon fee and rebate programs that will be effective, equitable and “pro-economic growth.” One component of such a “feebate” would be to provide fast charging for electric vehicles (EV) owned by all EV households in Vermont.

In his statement, Weinberger referred to the initiative as a “transformative tailwind that would dynamically push forward our efforts toward mitigating the current climate emergency.”

Barbara Whitchurch is a freelance writer and a member of Passive House Vermont. She is the co-owner of a Passive House, a Nissan Leaf, a Kia Niro, and a large St. Bernard named Remi.

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