Letter: Preparing for carbon pricing

Friday, February 09, 2018
Preparing for carbon pricing

New Hampshire’s Legislature is in the process of reviewing House Bill 1230. This bill would create the “Economic Impact of National Carbon Pricing Study Commission” charged with studying the various affects that national carbon pricing would have on New Hampshire, its businesses and citizens, and prepare the state should a national policy be signed into law.

Fossil fuels have played a crucial role in making our modern society what it is today; we stand on the shoulders of these “giants.” But the external costs to society have never been included in the price of these materials. National carbon pricing, if optimally designed (revenue-neutrality would be key), would remedy this by gradually incorporating those external costs, thus moving the long-term value of these materials to equitable footing with other energy sources.

Interest and momentum is gathering at the federal level for carbon pricing. This commission could participate in the national discussion and insist that a national policy assures New Hampshire of: 1) protection of low- and middle-income households, 2) simplicity and transparency so all energy industries and the businesses who depend on them can plan their futures, 3) economic protection and growth, 4) protection of businesses from foreign competitors who operate under none or different carbon pricing, and 5) the U.S. meeting CO2 reduction standards that are in line with our share of the remaining global emission budget.

If New Hampshire wants to keep with our tradition of fiscal preparedness and responsibility, it would be smart at this juncture for our Legislature to support HB1230.