Derrick Jackson of The Boston Globe recently profiled how investors are gaining greater confidence in renewable energy portfolios. However, the truth of the matter is that while the growth in investments in green energy is encouraging, it is not nearly enough to combat the extraordinary capital spent on extracting oil and gas from all corners of the globe.
Simply reducing the cost of solar panels or improving the efficiency of wind power is not going to be enough to overcome this devotion to fossil fuels. Rather, the only way to truly turn the tables is to appropriately and effectively charge fossil fuel companies the true cost of their product on the planet.
For far too long, we’ve allowed fossil fuel companies to use our atmosphere as a trash can for their emissions—hurting our environment and our economy. Rather than having government futilely trying to pick winners and losers through tax credits and subsidies, we should employ a carbon tax that uses a free-market mechanism to make polluters pay for the CO2 they omit, while simultaneously reducing taxes like the sales tax that burden low-income Bay Staters.
As part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Commonwealth has already joined with her sister states in a similar effort to reduce power plant emissions and increase investments in renewables. But a broader carbon tax system is urgently needed to ward off climate change and protect our precious shores and rolling hills for generations to come.