Breaking News: Montgomery County Passes Nation’s first Carbon Tax

Posted on May 19, 2010. Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , |

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.

UPDATE 5-20-2010: More info in CCAN’s press release, plus Montgomery County makes Environmental Leader’s top daily headline!


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5 Responses to “Breaking News: Montgomery County Passes Nation’s first Carbon Tax”

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Won’t they just pass that cost on to the power companies they supplies (pepco) who will in turn pass it on to us, their customers? Therefore, all that happened was the county council passed yet another tax on Montgomery county citizens today, as far as I can tell.

This is just the argument that big emitters like Mirant Corporation likes you to believe and here is why its wrong (from CCAN):
“A $5 per ton tax on Mirant will have NO DISCERNABLE impact on PEPCO ratepayers according to Pepco officials who have analyzed the proposed tax. PEPCO buys its power in an auction; if Mirant’s power is not competitive, it will not be purchased; and Mirant does not have enough “market power” to raise the price of power unilaterally”
For more arguments in favor of the legislation:

Great and so true! We need to tax the polluters who are destroying our environment. What is the true cost of energy when our air and water aren’t clean?

[…] CCAN, coal, Mirant, Montgomery County Hats off to the Montgomery County Council in Maryland for passing the nation’s first carbon tax.  Below is a summary of the hearing by Clean Currents, a local […]

[…] 2010 Climate Policy 0 Comments Hats off to the Montgomery County Council in Maryland for passing the nation’s first carbon tax.  Here is a copy of the legislation.  Below is a summary of […]

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