Massachusetts has been a leader in New England in promoting carbon pricing. They have been in legislative discussions for carbon pricing in past years and are extending discussions into 2019.

Massachusetts is a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) so has cap and trade control on power plant emissions. They also have joined the Transportation and Climate Initiative.  Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts would also be joining a select group of TCI states to cap transportation emissions and trade emission permits in a system modeled after RGGI, but legislators may want to retain their power to legislate transportation pricing.

2019 Legislative Session

SD1817 An Act to Combat Climate Change (Barrett) would implement an economy-wide “market-based compliance mechanism” which could be either cap and trade or carbon tax/fee. The equivalent price per metric ton of carbon would be no less than $15 and would increase by $5 per year up to a ceiling of $60.

Revenues would be allocated so that they mitigate or avoid any financial burdens to low-income and rural residents. Funds not so allocated would be placed in a carbon pricing trust fund, which would be annually disbursed as follows:

  • 60% to the Commonwealth Transportation Fund
  • 30% to be expended in the form of school aid
  • 5% to the environmental health and justice trust fund
  • 5% to support electric vehicle incentives

Last updated February 4, 2019