In the 2018 legislative session, the Vermont Legislature called for a study to examine the possible methods, costs, and benefits of using carbon pricing to address the problem of carbon pollution in the state. RAP was then asked to assess that study, produced by Resources for the Future (RFF), as further analysis for the Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office.

To assess Vermont’s key opportunities for carbon reduction, energy efficiency, and lowering of fossil-fuel bills, RAP commissioned two expert studies to assist in the review of the RFF study: one of low-carbon transportation done by M.J. Bradley and Associates and another on energy savings and housing in public buildings done by the Energy Futures Group. This report includes those studies as appendices and draws on them to consider how best to make the transition away from fossil fuel-powered heating and transportation.

This report concludes that carbon pricing on its own is neither the cheapest nor the most effective way to reduce the state’s carbon emissions. Rather, Vermont will benefit from a program of carbon reductions that is based on practical public policies—policies that attack the main sources of carbon pollution through tailored, cost-effective programs geared to the state’s families, businesses, and physical conditions.​