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Carbon Tax Bill Withdrawn, But Its Campaign Moves Forward

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A new economic study by a forecasting firm has found that putting a tax on carbon pollution would reduce emissions and create jobs in Rhode Island. That...

A new economic study by a forecasting firm has found that putting a tax on carbon pollution would reduce emissions and create jobs in Rhode Island. That will be the topic of a briefing this afternoon at Brown University.

The study assesses the impact of a bill that proposes putting a price—$15 per ton—on all fossil fuels that enter the state: oil, coal, gasoline, and natural gas.  The sponsors of the bill recently withdrew the bill. Brown University student Solomon Goldstein-Rose wrote the first draft of the bill and said he's hopeful the bill will be re-introduced.

“The fact that the sponsors aren’t interested—these particular sponsors—in moving forward this year, it’s disappointing, because it was going to create 1,000 jobs in two years," said Goldstein-Rose. "It’s disappointing but it’s not anything that changes what we’re doing as a campaign.”

The bill’s economic impact study, which was conducted by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), predicts a carbon tax would reduce the state’s emissions by about 35 percent from current levels by 2040 and create about 4,300 jobs in that same period in industries such as construction and clean energy.

Goldstein-Rose said money generated from such a carbon tax would be reinvested in residents, businesses, and weatherization programs for low-income homes and small businesses.

“This would create a lot of construction jobs, especially because of the weatherization program, and just benefits a lot from people have more real personal disposable income.”

Goldstein-Rose said he will continue to campaign on behalf of this carbon tax bill as a member of the Energize Rhode Island Coalition. None of the bill’s sponsors could be reached for comment. 

The REMI briefing takes place at Brown University's Wilson Hall, Room 102 at 5:00 p.m. 

Note: The location of the briefing has changed from the Statehouse to Brown University.

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Carbon Tax Bill Withdrawn, But Its Campaign Moves Forward
Carbon Tax Bill Withdrawn, But Its Campaign Moves Forward