Letter to the Editor: Carbon pricing has impact in New Hampshire

Recently, there have been talks about carbon pricing at the federal level. One bill that has come to light recently is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This bill, introduced into the House in January, places a price of $15 on each metric ton of carbon emitted and increases in price by $10 each year. A plan like this is beneficial to New Hampshire, because it would create new jobs, improve public health and allow the environment to flourish.

The most job growth created by this bill would be in the areas of health services, retail and construction. This would allow for the state to become more competitive and attract new residents. Accounting for the social cost of carbon will create competition and growth in New Hampshire.

Carbon pricing benefits New Hampshire, because it would improve public health. Clean air is critical to life in New Hampshire. Reducing greenhouse gases and harmful pollution is a public health concern. Allergies and issues like asthma would greatly decrease. Reducing our dependence on carbon-based fuels aids in the Earth’s overall temperature returning to normal, preventing deaths from issues such as heat stroke, insect-borne illnesses like zika and extreme weather deaths. These issues have all affected New Hampshire, when in June 2017 during a heat wave an elderly couple perished from the extreme temperature. Or, last March, when a woman was diagnosed with the zika virus from a mosquito.

Lastly, a price on carbon would help the Granite State, because it would allow the environment to flourish. A thriving environment is a cornerstone to life in the Granite State, and pricing carbon will allow that cornerstone to prosper. We already are seeing warmer temperatures and less snowfall statewide, and snow is the backbone of the Granite State. Dr. Elizabeth Burakowski, a research assistant professor at UNH argues, “By the end of the century, people will not be skiing in New England.” If we had a carbon pricing plan, the weather and temperatures would remain constant and this threat would no longer linger in the state.

Carbon pricing can help the state of New Hampshire. A plan like this would foster economic growth, reduce medical costs and save lives all while being good stewards of the environment.

Megan Pardoe