Concord, NH – House Republican Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement relative to the vote by the House Science, Technology & Energy Committee on Tuesday to retain HB735, relative to carbon pricing.

“It’s disturbing to me that Democrats openly said that they want to do additional work on this $800 million per year tax bill. Whether it’s $100 million or $1 billion, they just can’t see the light, and want to move forward with this bill in some fashion, it appears. HB735 is a massive redistribution of wealth, it would dramatically raise energy and fuel prices in New Hampshire, and have a significant negative impact on our state economy. If Democrats want to continue this debate into 2020 by retaining this bill, I’m fine with that, and so were the Republicans on the committee. They can try and hide it but they can’t run away from it.”

Background:

Bill text available here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=815&txtFormat=pdf&v=current

If the plan were enacted, the Department of Environmental Services estimates revenue as follows:

Calendar Year             Tons of CO2               Equiv. Fee                   Revenue

2020                            15,000,000                  $20.00                         $300,000,000

2021                            15,000,000                  $30.75                         $461,250,000

2022                            15,000,000                  $41.77                         $626,550,000

2023                            15,000,000                  $53.05                         $795,900,000

Bills retained by committees will likely be worked on by committees in the fall, and acted on by the House in January.Testimony provided to the committee at the time of the public hearing suggested that the proposal would increase gas prices by 15-20 cents per gallon in year one, and 5-10 cents per year as the fee increases. In addition, home heating oil prices could rise as much as $1.22 per gallon. The fee/tax would also apply to other carbon based fuels including natural gas and propane. The bill seeks to rebate some of the revenue back to residents on a per capita basis, and some large industrial entities, but neglects to rebate anything back to small businesses, municipalities or school districts. If energy costs increased by 30-50%, it could have a severe impact on property taxes.