By John McClaughry
Last week the Massachusetts House, with its large Democratic supermajority, passed a lengthy bill that claims to “create a roadmap to a clean and thriving commonwealth by the year 2050.”
An important part of the bill gives the green light for the state to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative, known as TCI. That’s the 11-state agreement to drive up gasoline and diesel fuel taxes to get people to stop driving internal combustion cars by relieving them of millions of dollars to insulate somebody else’s home, subsidize electric cars, build charging stations, build bike paths, and so on. The same proposal is before the Vermont Legislature.
The Massachusetts bill allowed for similar tax schemes in the future. As its critics pointed out, to no avail, the House’s vote is a blueprint for long term carbon taxes without needing a legislative vote. The bill allows for the Legislature to continue to turn over its legislative authority to unelected bureaucrats on matters of taxation, regulation and regional agreements. The final bill included implementing California style regulations for appliances, which Vermont did a year ago.
You might wonder how Republican Gov. Charlie Baker could support such a bill. He has done so in part because the Supreme Court ordered him to cut back carbon dioxide emissions under that state’s Global Warming Solutions Act. That’s the atrocious act that I hope Gov. Phil Scott will soon veto here.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.