Impacts of a Carbon Tax | VideoJennifer Joas | 3/8/2013
Whether you need electricity to keep the lights on, gasoline to fill up your car or natural gas to heat your home, energy costs can add up quickly. That is why the Greater North Dakota Chamber opposes a federal carbon tax.
"When government sucks the air out of the room, it is not good for anybody," said Andy Peterson, Greater North Dakota Chamber President & CEO.
According to the Economic Outcomes Study released by the Chamber, coal plants in North Dakota would take the biggest hit if a carbon tax were enacted. The six plants burn close to 30 million tons of coal every year. Industry leaders say that would mean millions of dollars more in taxes, higher electricity rates and possibly slashing the number of employees to keep afloat.
"That really could be a detriment to the energy industry in our state, and could hamper employment. And if it hampers employment, it could hamper our economy," said Peterson.
Industry leaders say despite the Federal Government`s intentions, it is ultimately a bad deal for consumers.
"I think what it is trying to do is to make what have traditionally been more expensive generation sources, i.e. natural gas, wind, biofuels, more competitive with coal by raising the price of coal-based electricity. But the people who are hurt again are the consumers," said Steve Van Dyke, Lignite Energy Council VP of Communications.
The Chamber study also found it could raise gas prices at the pump by 20 cents, and could increase natural gas costs by more than 40 percent.