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As National Climate Policy Shifts, Will Connecticut Start A Carbon Tax?

Dave Sizer
Creative Commons

Legislators in Hartford are considering a state-wide "carbon tax" on fossil fuels, which could impact utility customers, car drivers, and businesses in the state.

To date, no states in the country have successfully passed a carbon tax, but that’s not stopping legislators in Connecticut from talking about the idea, which would tax fossil fuels based on consumption and, in theory, reduce emissions.

"The issue of climate change is an important issue," said Senator Ted Kennedy Jr., co-chair of the Environment Committee, "and I'm worried. I'm also worried about national environmental policy."

Eric Brown, with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said he's open to discussing the proposal, but he's "more worried about what signal this sends to the business community in Connecticut -- one that is already strained," he said.

Legislators from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, which are all considering similar carbon tax proposals -- also spoke to the committee.

As Inside Climate News reported in November, last year voters in Washington State rejected a proposal for what would have been the nation's first carbon tax.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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