Transportation policies key to reducing emissions
To the editor:
In the recent governor's order on energy there are several sections that call attention to the transportation sector. This is especially important because until now, much more attention has been paid to the electricity and heating/cooling sectors. While it's easier to implement policies for those sectors, transportation accounts for over 40 percent of Massachusetts' annual carbon emissions.
Section 2B of the order calls for the state Department of Transportation "to establish declining annual aggregate emissions limits." Many policy experts agree that the best way to lower transportation emissions is not through regulation. Instead, by putting a fair price on carbon, market-based incentives push organizations and citizens to shift away from fossil fuels to transportation that runs on clean energy. Just as important, this policy strengthens our economy, local control of energy, and incentives for the state's world-class research and development to innovate clean transportation.
In the last legislative session, a fair carbon pricing bill introduced by state Sen. Michael Barrett, and supported by many of our local legislators, came within three votes of passing the state Senate. This policy would place a fee on fossil fuels coming into Massachusetts, and balance cost increases at the pump by returning all the fees to state organizations and citizens.
In addition to shifting the state away from fossil fuels and strengthening our economy, this bill also would benefit low-income people and would return more money to people who drive more. So it really would be fair!
Al Blake, Becket