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Committee Votes Down Bill That Would Charge Carbon Fee for Polluters

A bill that would have required polluters to pay for their greenhouse gas emissions, and invest that revenue into education and green infrastructure, was voted down by a key committee on Monday.

The Climate Crisis and Education Act, sponsored by Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo (D-Montgomery) and Sen. Benjamin F. Kramer (D-Montgomery), was moved unfavorable 15-8 by the House Economic Matters Committee on Monday evening. The bill was jointly assigned to the committee, as well as the Environment and Transportation Committee; a cross-filed bill remains pending in the Senate.

The bill would have created a funding stream for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the multi-billion-dollar education reform bill that the General Assembly passed last month. The remaining revenue from the carbon fee would have gone to financial protections for low and moderate-income families and clean energy initiatives, such as building electric vehicle infrastructure and carbon sequestration projects like tree planting.

Iterations of this carbon-cutting legislation have been introduced in the General Assembly for the last three years, and this would mark the fourth year that it did not pass out of a key committee.

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