General Assembly Will Again Consider Carbon Tax

The Maryland General Assembly will again consider legislation that adds a tax on greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of zero emissions by 2040. The bill sponsors say Marylanders are already paying for pollution through costs associated with damage to public health and the environment. 

“Our Children’s Future Act” will be introduced by Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo and Senator Kramer during the 2020 session. This will be the third time carbon tax legislation is introduced in the General Assembly, but the sponsors are confident that the bill can pass this year in part because this version is much less complicated, and because it raises funds for education.

Revenue from a carbon tax would add $350 million yearly that is dedicated to education. The rest would be split several ways with some going back to low income families, and some going to businesses that require high amounts of energy in an effort to offset potential price increases of gasoline and electricity.

From coverage in Maryland Matters:

Companies would be charged for their pollution — $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide from combustion of non-transportation fossil fuels. The cost would rise $5 each year, to a cap of $60 per metric ton.

Depending on how energy companies respond, the bill could increase the price of gasoline by 9 cents per gallon, then by 3 cents each year, officials estimated. It could increase standard electricity by 0.9 cents per kilowatt-hour, then by 0.3 cents each year. Maryland residents who choose clean energy sources for electricity would pay less.

The measure could also increase the price of natural gas by 53 cents per hundred cubic feet, then by 18 cents each year. It could increase the price of heating oil by 12 cents per gallon, then by 4 cents each year.