Providence — A new economic study by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) shows that carbon pricing would create jobs while reducing pollution in Rhode Island. The Energize RI bill (S417), as updated by the Energize Rhode Island Coalition, would create 1,000 jobs in the first two years, and 4,300 jobs by 2040 over baseline projections, including about 1,600 in construction and about 700 in healthcare.

The study examined proposed economic development and sustainability legislation by the Energize Rhode Island Coalition, the “Energize Rhode Island: Clean Energy Investment and Carbon Pricing Act of 2015.” The bill would put a price of $15 per ton of carbon dioxide on fossil fuels when they are first sold within the state. It would reinvest the revenue through direct dividends to residents and businesses, as well as through a weatherization program for low-income homes and small business properties. The fee would increase slowly and steadily at $5/ton per year, giving businesses and residents the opportunity to plan ahead and make long-term investments in reducing energy waste and building a sustainable economy in the state.

The bill would reduce RI carbon pollution approximately 35% from current levels by 2040. It would also create about 4,300 jobs in the same period compared with baseline projections. Some of the top industries benefited include construction, healthcare, accommodation and food services, and other services.

REMI Senior Economic Associate and Project Manager, Scott Nystrom, will give a briefing in the Senate Lounge at the State House at 3pm on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. As part of the briefing, Nystrom will explain his findings to legislators, press, and the public, concluding with an open press Q+A with Nystrom and the bill sponsors. 

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