House Minority Whip Joel Briscoe is proposing a carbon tax to reduce pollution in Utah, as the state is facing more problems with its air quality. Briscoe said the carbon tax will push Utahns to reduce energy consumption or start using more renewable sources of energy.
Briscoe is hoping to get $10 for every ton of carbon dioxide emitted in the state. Utah emitted a total of 66 million tons in 2013, the latest available figures from the government. If the tax law passes, Utahns will have to pay more for anything that uses energy, such as gasoline in cars and heating in homes.
Briscoe assured citizens that the tax proposal will be a “revenue neutral bill.” This means it will cut down on other state taxes to balance the carbon tax. Heavy energy users – and not the average consumer – would feel the impact of this bill.
For people skeptical about the success of the carbon tax, Briscoe pointed out that British Columbia in Canada and Sweden already have effective carbon tax implementations.
Although natural phenomena, like storms or snow, can help improve the quality of air by pushing out the pollution, there are little, everyday things people can do to prevent further polluting the air. Officials encourage citizens to make an effort to cut down on energy use; even small things can make a difference.
Riding a bike instead of taking your car to do an errand can lessen people’s carbon emission. Although home heating is unavoidable, especially during the winter, the regular maintenance of your heating system at home is a helpful way to reduce energy use. Regular checkups by companies like All Hours Plumbing and HVAC will prevent excessive humidity, which affects energy consumption as it forces other cooling and heating appliances to work longer.
With the growing health and environmental problems brought by excessive carbon emissions, every solution, big or small, will help prevent bigger troubles in the future.