In claiming that Senate Bill 189 “would have established rules, fees and fines for CO2 emissions, and an exceedingly high tax on fossil fuel suppliers,” Jeanette Zentgraf (letter, Oct. 22) grossly misrepresents legislation that I proposed in the last legislative session.
SB 189 would have imposed a modest, $10/ton tax on carbon emissions from electrical generating plants — not on the coal, oil and gas producers who are the “suppliers” of fossil fuels. The bill provided for fines for failure to pay the tax, not for CO2 emissions. And the minimal rules and fees called for in SB 189 were there to assure that generating plants recorded and reported their emissions.
Zentgraf also ignores the fact that SB 189 was revenue neutral. All the revenue raised with the carbon tax would have paid for property tax relief. And since most of that revenue would have come from non-resident ratepayers, Montana property taxpayers would have come out way ahead.
Zentgraf may deny climate change, and she may not like measures to combat it. But is it too much to ask that when she criticizes a bill proposing a carbon tax that she correctly state what the bill would actually do?
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Sen. Dick Barrett,
Senate District 45,