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L.D. 343 An Act to Price Carbon Pollution in Maine

This bill, dated January 29, 2019, is a Maine bill referred to the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, presented by Rep. Rykerson and co-sponsored by Sen. Miramant.

It proposes a carbon tax of $5 per metric ton of carbon dioxide (a metric ton is 1.102 times heavier than a U.S. ton) that could be produced from various fuels, increasing $5 per year until it reaches $40/ton in year eight, then keeping at that level going forward.  The fuels affected include diesel, fuel oil, gasoline, kerosene, natural gas and propane.  Unlike proposals in CT and NH, the tax would not be applied to the carbon dioxide from fuels used at electric power plants.  Apparently the logic for this is that the electric utilities would be the beneficiaries of all these taxes and they are supposed to reduce the rate of their customers, in some undisclosed manner.  However, since the tax is applied on fuels upon import into Maine, power plants will have to purchase the taxed, more expensive fuels to operate (such as natural gas) and this will drive rates up. 


Using the formula in the bill, the following taxes are calculated for various affected fuels on a cent per unit volume basis, and the impact on household budgets, where applicable.

Heating Oil
Year           Tax              Tax/Household (HH)
1           $.0508/gall            $40.65
5           $.2541/gall            $203.27
8           $.4065/gall            $325.23

Year           Tax                      Tax/HH
1           $.0288/gall            $35.21
5           $.1441/gall            $176.04
8           $.2305/gall            $281.66

Year           Tax                      Tax/HH
1           $.0445/gall            $29.17
5           $.2223/gall            $145.84
8           $.3557/gall            $233.35

Natural Gas
Year           Tax                      Tax/HH
1           $.0266/ccf             $28.64
5           $.1328/gall            $143.19
8           $.2125/gall            $229.10

The tax on diesel used for vehicles is the same as heating oil.  We use data from the federal Energy Information Agency to calculate the carbon impact of various fuels, as the bill requires.  The tax from year 8 remains the same going forward from then.  We assume household consumption of heating oil at 800 gallons per year, 1,078 ccf of natural gas, 1,222 gallons of propane, and 656 gallons of gasoline.  Your individual consumption of course will vary from these averages. Thus, for example, in year 8 of the tax, a family that heats with propane and owns two cars, would incur a tax of $281.66 for heating and 2 x $233.35 = $466.70 = $748.36.  The tax adds up fast, and per the bill, the proceeds all go to the electric utilities.

1o Reasons to Oppose a Carbon Tax

A “carbon tax” is a tax on energy. Through July 2015, over 80 percent of domestic energy consumption came from natural gas, oil, and coal. A carbon tax would impose an indirect tax on these fuels due to their carbon dioxide emissions. Below are ten reasons carbon taxes should be opposed:

The Truth About Carbon Taxes

The truth about Carbon Taxes an why  the French forced their government to back down.

Why not a carbon tax

A recently released 146 page “carbon pricing analysis” comes to the conclusion that making fuel unaffordable will force people to use less. Below are some more take aways from the report.

Happening Now

French people force government to back down on a carbon tax  

“Here’s what happens when government acts against the will of the people – French protesting a carbon tax near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris”