Climate Change Action

The Climate Change bill that was passed this year puts the State in a position where rapid progress is needed to avoid legal action against the State. The fact that the responsibility for progress has been given to another entity does not excuse the Legislature from taking action. 

With transportation being one of the major contributors to climate change in Vermont and the high average annual miles driven, big changes are needed. Efforts to move to electric cars have been pretty modest. With the cost of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles approaching that of standard gasoline vehicles, one of the major obstacles is the scarcity of charging stations. Many are reluctant to purchase an electric car because when you are out of juice, you are stuck and are calling a flatbed to pick you and your car up. If charging stations were more ubiquitous or it was possible to reserve a charging slot while you were at work, it would be much easier for folks to make the transition from gas to electric. 

A downside of this is loss of the transportation tax that is included in the price of gasoline. So a creative solution is needed here too. A mileage fee is unfair since a plug-in hybrid only uses electricity for some of the miles traveled. A surcharge on charging stations is easily avoided by plugging in to a 110 outlet. Perhaps the answer is to call the gasoline tax a carbon tax and charge a mileage fee for all vehicles (not just electric ones).

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