By Todd Smith | The Caledonian Record
On Wednesday the Georgetown Climate Center unveiled its long awaited proposal to retard climate change by slapping an annually increasing tax on all gasoline and diesel fuel used in transportation throughout 12 Northeastern states.
Almost every environmental and climate change activist group, unable for the past four years to get the Vermont legislature to even vote on creating a carbon tax to achieve the same end, designated the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) as its must-pass “banner” idea for 2020.
The advocates had barely stopped cheering TCI’s unveiling when one brave Governor, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, rained on their parade.
New Hampshire announced it won’t join the controversial regional TCI compact just hours after a draft policy was released Tuesday. Sununu cited the cost burden on drivers.
“I will not force Granite Staters to pay more for their gas just to subsidize other states’ crumbling infrastructure,” the Governor told the Boston Herald. “New Hampshire is already taking substantial steps to curb our carbon emissions, and this initiative, if enacted, would institute a new gas tax by up to 17 cents per gallon while only achieving minimal results. This program is a financial boondoggle and the people of New Hampshire will never support it.”
Sununu’s office added that “rural communities would be left at a severe disadvantage if New Hampshire participated in the TCI, as drivers will bear the brunt of the artificially higher gas prices.” Sununu spokesman Jared Chicoine added that “This proposal is a huge hit to the wallets of rural drivers. The data makes it clear that — even without the TCI proposal — the market is already projected to reach many of the same environmental benchmarks.”
Good for Gov. Sununu.
He deserves thanks from most local folks, including motorists, delivery people (and those receiving deliveries), school bus operators, milk haulers, ambulance companies, police forces, taxi drivers, fuel tankers, small business employees and owners, as well as the economies that rely on snowmobilers and ATVs … just to name a few.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has long declared his strong opposition to a carbon tax. The TCI — which taxes motor fuel based on its carbon content — clearly is one. We fully expect him to follow Gov. Sununu’s lead for the good of all Vermont’s poor, and remote, residents.
Todd M. Smith is the publisher of the Caledonian Record, where this editorial first appeared. He lives in St. Johnsbury.