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Montgomery commissioner Berliner proposes county carbon tax

Just in time for Earth Day Thursday, Montgomery County council member and longtime energy attorney Roger Berliner (D) is proposing an excise tax on major carbon emitters in the county, a local move meant to spur faster action to address global warming.

The proposal would put a $5 tax on each ton of carbon dioxide sent skyward by "major emitters," which Berliner's draft legislation defines as "any person who owns or operates any stationary source of carbon dioxide located in the County that emits more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide in any calendar year."

In practice, officials said the law would apply to one facility: the 844-megawatt Dickerson generating plant run by the Mirant Corporation. Berliner says it would raise $15 million a year at a time when the county is facing serious fiscal challenges, and he said PEPCO officials told him the tax will have no discernable impact on rates.

A Mirant representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

By Michael Laris  |  April 21, 2010; 1:07 PM ET
Categories:  Michael Laris , Montgomery County  | Tags: Carbon dioxide, Electricity, Energy, Environment  
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