Friday, April 23, 2010

Montgomery official proposes carbon tax on major emitters

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As drops in buckets go, this is very small drop in a very big bucket.

Just in time for Earth Day, Montgomery County Council member and longtime energy lawyer Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) is proposing an excise tax on major carbon emitters in the county. He said his goal is to spur faster action to address global warming. And if he can raise millions of dollars a year with the carbon tax, he said, that will be another welcome byproduct.

The proposal would put a $5 tax on each ton of carbon dioxide sent skyward by "major emitters." In Montgomery, that means one facility: the 843-megawatt Dickerson generating plant that Mirant runs near Poolesville.

Mirant officials appear ready for a fight. The firm generates power across Maryland, in Alexandria, in California and beyond. Asked whether company executives are prepared to pay the tax, a Mirant spokeswoman said simply: "No."

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