LEARN MORE

Use this page to find out more about our campaign to address global warming by putting a price on carbon pollution and establishing an Energy Independence Fund in Vermont. Click on a section in the table of contents below to navigate to that section.

THE FIVE YEAR VISION

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  • Fossil fuel companies are held financially accountable for polluting our air and climate, which means much lower taxes on Vermonters and local businesses.
  • Smart investments in an Energy Independence Fund have broken down barriers so clean energy technologies like home weatherization, solar and cold climate heat pumps are available to all Vermonters.
  • Cleaner transportation options – including more fuel efficient cars and trucks, along with increased public transportation – are popular, affordable and widely available.
  • By replacing fossil fuels with clean energy solutions, Vermonters are saving tens millions of dollars on fuel bills every year and keeping those energy dollars right here, working in Vermont.

THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

Keep hundreds of millions of Vermonters’ dollars in Vermont. Create thousands of jobs in industries like construction , computer manufacturing, and hospitality. Raise Vermonters’ incomes by $135 million in 10 years.

It’s true. According to economic modeling performed specifically for Vermont, a price on pollution is the ideal market-based approach for strengthening our economy and reducing pollution at the same time.

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  • REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS, REDUCE POLLUTION
    • Investments to help Vermonters switch to clean energy and make our homes more energy efficient will help eliminate fossil fuels—and fossil fuel pollution.
  • TAX POLLUTION, NOT WORK
    • Economies work better when we cut taxes on things we want more of (jobs, income) and instead tax things we want less of (pollution). Plus, clean energy and efficiency are cheaper than oil and gas. So reducing fossil fuels keeps money in our pockets and dollars in Vermont’s economy—and creates thousands of new good-paying jobs.

THE HIDDEN COST OF FOSSIL FUEL

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Photo credit: Jim Greenhill

Oil and gas companies don’t pay the huge costs caused by the heat-trapping carbon pollution they emit. With more superstorms, worsening floods and increasingly unpredictable growing seasons, carbon pollution means higher infrastructure costs and ballooning emergency relief budgets.

Tropical Storm Irene caused nearly a billion dollars in damage—and University of Vermont scientists have said it’s a “harbinger of things to come.”

BRITISH COLUMBIA’S PRICE ON POLLUTION

BC_GraphInstead of waiting for Canada to take nationwide action to tackle climate change, in 2008, the province of British Columbia enacted a tax on carbon pollution to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and fund significant tax cuts.

Today, pollution from fossil fuels in British Columbia is down significantly, and the pollution tax funds more than a billion dollars a year in other tax cuts—so the province has one of Canada’s lowest corporate and income tax rates. On top of that, since 2008, BC has enjoyed a slightly stronger economy than the rest of Canada.

  • TAKEAWAYS FOR VERMONT
    • British Columbia’s tax on pollution started low (equivalent to 9 cents/gallon of gas) and increased over time, so there was plenty of time to install clean energy technologies
    • A targeted tax credit for low-income citizens shielded them from the potential adverse impacts
    • In 2012, public support for the tax on polluters reached 64 percent—just as the tax reached its maximum level

VERMONT ENERGY INDEPENDENCE FUND PRIORITIES

  • ENERGY EFFICIENT SCHOOLS
    • Improving the energy efficiency of public buildings like schools will reduce operating costs, saving all taxpayers money while reducing carbon pollution.
  • HOME WEATHERIZATION, CLEAN HEAT
    • In its first five years, this plan would help nearly 20,000 families make energy efficiency investments—like weatherizing their home—keeping hundreds of millions of dollars in Vermonters’ pockets.
  • TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS
    • From fuel efficient pick-up trucks to electric vehicles to public transportation, cleaner transportation solutions will be within reach for all Vermonters.