Cap, Trade, and Invest: Transportation
Mary Peterson, Tax Attorney & Daniel Gatti, Union of Concerned Scientists
Vermont should extend its successful experience in using emissions trading to its largest emissions sector, transportation; an approach that lowers emissions, lowers costs over the long run, and is an economic driver leveraging a sustainable revenue stream for critical investments.
Vermont should extend its successful experience in using emissions trading to its largest emissions sector, transportation, and neighboring Quebec, together with its Western Climate Initiatives (WCI) partners, offers the quickest lane to do so. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (REGGI) has proven a valuable tool, embraced over time and across the political spectrum, to drive down carbon emissions from the electricity production sector. At its foundation are three levers – a cap that sets the emissions goal, an allowance and offset trading market to achieve that goal most efficiently, and revenue that can be invested strategically to spur economic development and further drive down emissions in an equitable way. Cap and trade is carbon pricing applied at the point where businesses make investment and innovation decisions involving the atmosphere, a public asset. Allowances are auctioned, like airwave spectrum, and offsets can include farming and forestry enterprises. Revenue is distributed as a common benefit, incenting businesses and reducing costs to consumers over the long term through efficiency, alternatives, and infrastructure. There is an overall net positive impact on the economy. Cap, trade, and invest can work in parallel with other tools, such as fuel standards or a carbon tax, and even could help address limitations of the current gas tax. Application of
the cap, trade and invest approach to the transportation sector is overdue.
Submitted by: Mary PetersonEAN Pitch 4 - Mary Peterson - Cap Trade and Invest for Transportation