July 3, 2022

Volume XII, Number 184

Advertisement
Advertisement

July 01, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 30, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

British Columbia Provides Model for Massachusetts Carbon Pricing

On Monday, April 13, The Alliance for Business Leadership hosted “Embracing the Future: The Economic Success of British Columbia’s Carbon Pricing Policy”. The program outlined the economic, political, and environmental impacts of B.C.’s carbon tax. The event featured a panel discussion, and after, Mike Bernier, British Columbia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Energy Literacy and the Environment, made closing remarks. As the Massachusetts legislature considers carbon pricing legislation, the following are takeaways from these recognized leaders on this issue:

  • “Tax” is a misnomer: Labeling B.C.’s carbon pricing scheme a tax is deceptive because, as Beaty and Smith explained, it is revenue neutral. All the money collected is given back in targeted tax cuts. Senator Barrett’s Massachusetts bill is similarly revenue neutral and describes the system as a “user fee.”

  • It makes policy and political sense: Raising taxes is often not rewarded politically, but the 2009 election was fought on this issue, and B.C. residents voted to support the tax and re-elect the enacting administration. After the contest, the opposition reversed course and supported the tax.

  • The environment wins: In the seven years under the tax, B.C. has reduced emissions by 16%, compared to 3% in the rest of Canada over the same time period. If the scheduled progress continues, B.C. will reach its 2020 goal of a 33% emissions reduction from 2007 levels.

  • Businesses will respond: Beaty and his colleagues in the business community got behind the measure because “a market problem needed a market solution.” Businesses have in fact made adjustments to mitigate the new costs. Companies have also taken a collaborative approach, engaging not only the provincial government, but policymakers at the local, national, and international level.

  • Innovating sustainable solutions: Targeted tax cuts incentivize B.C.’s businesses and residents to adopt new technologies that use renewable alternatives and save money. In Massachusetts, Senator Barrett hopes that the combination of his own carbon fee plan and the Commonwealth’s cutting edge clean technology companies will help liberate Massachusetts from foreign fuels and create sustainable jobs.

©1994-2022 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume V, Number 106
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Katy Ward, Mintz Levin Law Firm, Boston, Corporate and Environmental Law Attorney
Contract Attorney

Katy practices in the Environmental Law and Corporate and Securities Practices. Her environmental law practice includes representing clients in environmental litigation in state and federal court; counseling clients on compliance, enforcement and permitting under federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations; and advising potential buyers, sellers and related parties in a variety of complex corporate and real estate transactions.

Katy’s corporate practice focuses in part on the venture capital space, representing both venture...

617-348-1850
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement