It has been an up and down week. On the down side, President Trump’s budget is a handbook of climate denialism. He eliminates almost every federal program designed to study, prepare for, or protect Americans from the threat of global warming.
On the plus side, I was thrilled to join Vermont Representative David Deen in Connecticut on Monday as elected leaders there joined forces with colleagues from Massachusetts and Rhode Island to introduce strong carbon pollution pricing legislation.
In the absence of federal action, it’s up to the states to lead. There is movement in our neighboring states — now it is Vermont’s turn.
As Washington rolls back regulations that limit air pollution, it is more important than ever that lawmakers in Montpelier protect Vermonters’ health. A price on carbon dioxide pollution will limit greenhouse gasses. It will also reduce cancer and asthma-causing emissions, such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
A recent study of the health benefits of New England’s modest pollution pricing program covering electricity (the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative), found that the northeast states in the compact have saved over $5 billion in health care costs and prevented over 300 premature deaths due to reduced pollution. This study shows that carbon pricing saves lives and money. We should be doing more of both.
Thank you for all that you do,
Tom Hughes, Energy Independent Vermont