Breaking News: Montgomery County Passes Nation’s first Carbon Tax
Its official: today, the Montgomery County Council passed a carbon tax bill- the first of its kind in the United States! The bill, proposed by County Councilman Roger Berliner, taxes stationary emitters in Montgomery County that release more than one million tons of co2 into the atmosphere annually. Currently, there is only one such emitter- a coal plant owned by Mirant Corporation. At a hearing yesterday, Mirant Corporation officials spoke against the legislation claiming it would only lead to rate hikes for consumers. However, Councilman Berliner said the $5/ton tax would not have an impact on ratepayers for numerous reasons. This amount is marginal compared to the profits Mirant makes from the facility. The tax revenues will go to funding clean energy and other programs that are facing funding cuts during tough budgetary conditions.
Amanda Duzak and Gary Skulnik, Clean Currents resident activists were at yesterday’s hearing supporting the bill and the testimonies of CCAN’s Mike Tidwell and other advocates. Also present at the hearing were a rowdy group of tea party protestors in support of Mirant. These protestors denied climate change was happening. However, when asked about Mirant’s stance on climate change, the Mirant representative could not deny it, creating a real rhetorical problem for the tea party protestors.
For more about Mirant see here.