H2935, An Act to transition to a clean energy Commonwealth

Senator Brownsberger submitted the following testimony to the Committee on Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities:

TO:                  Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy

FROM:             Senator William N. Brownsberger

RE:                   H2935

DATE:              November 12th, 2013

I am writing in support of H2935, An Act to transition to a clean energy Commonwealth.

This bill has many positive elements.  It encourages the transition away from coal power, which is already well under way.  It places a strong emphasis on replacing coal with efficiency improvements and clean energy generation.

I particularly welcome the precedent set forth in H2935 for the application of a carbon tax.  Given the threats we face from climate change, it is clear that we need to transition from fossil fuels.  We need to embrace measures that will create strong economy-wide incentives to move away from high carbon fuel sources, such as coal and accurately reflect the true cost of carbon emissions.  To that end, Senator Barrett and Representative Conroy have co-sponsored H2532, An Act Relative to shifting from carbon emissions to transportation investment, a bill that would impose a tax on all carbon emissions generated by burning fossil fuels.  I believe that carbon taxation will create the necessary economic incentives to expedite our transition to a renewable energy future.  H2935 will impose carbon pricing on electric generating facilities – in effect, a tax – that will expedite the transition to a carbon free future.

I hope the committee will report H2935 favorably.

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