Two lawmakers in New York’s State Assembly last week introduced a bill to impose a carbon tax on fuels used for electricity generation, transportation, heating, cooling, and in industrial processes.
The draft law, tabled by Democrats Kevin Cahill and Barbara Lifton and seen by Carbon Pulse, calls for an initial $35/tonne levy on “carbon-based fuels”, including coal, natural gas, renewable biomass, petroleum products, and any other product that contains carbon and emits CO2, methane, N2O or other GHGs when combusted.
The tax, which would be charged to utilities and fuel distributors, would then rise by $15 annually to a maximum of $185/tonne.
Some 60% of revenues collected would be recycled to the poorest and lower middle-income classes in the form of tax credits, with the remaining 40% used to fund the de-carbonisation of New York State’s economy, the expansion of mass transit and the improvement of the state’s climate change adaptation measures.
“This legislation would reduce carbon emissions in New York State by making investments in cleaner, greener public transportation systems and by incentivizing the use of renewable fuel sources through tax credits,” said Assemblyman Cahill in a press release.
The New York State Assembly is the state’s lower legislative house, of which Democrats control two-thirds of the 150 seats.
The bill would also need to pass through the state senate, of which Republicans control 32 of the 63 seats, and be approved by New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.
Through the state’s participation in RGGI regional cap-and-trade programme, New York already imposes a price on CO2 emissions from its power plants.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org