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March 12, 2009

Boulder, Colorado in the New York Times again. First city to introduce a Carbon Tax struggles to meet Kyoto targets.

elephant journal’s hometown Boulder is full of climbers, cyclists, runners, Buddhists, yogis, scientist, techpreneurs, VCers, poor liberals, rich Californians, cafes…and, of course, leading environmentalists who have, for generations, protected this small city/big town from the sprawl and McMansion syndrome that has turned much of America the Beautiful into a super-sized cookie-cutter country of lazy, unhealthy, unhappy non-voting citizens.

Now that was a fun sentence to write. 

Still, in this How Green is my Mountain Valley, it ain’t easy being truly Green. The New York Times reports:

Excerpt:

…have to raise it in order to meet emissions-reduction targets.

According to a report in The Daily Camera of Boulder, Colo., even if the tax is increased to the highest amount allowed by voters, “the city is likely to get only two-thirds of the way to its 2012 goal if it sticks to the current strategy.”

A Boulder City Council meeting will be held next month to determine whether to raise the tax. As The Daily Camera article points out, a number of cities in the country have also agreed to Kyoto Protocol targets of a 7 percent reduction in emissions by 2012. However, “in the last year and a half, only San Francisco andSeattle have publicly declared that they are on target to meet the standard.”

In Boulder, one challenge has been figuring out whether or not emissions have been reduced. “Many of these estimates depend on assumptions about behaviors — such as how long a homeowner leaves his Christmas tree lit up at night — which ultimately produces shaky accounting of how much carbon has actually been eliminated,” the article states.

(On a federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency is also looking to shore up greenhouse-gas emissions accounting.)

Boulder is moving forward on other energy-modernization strategies, like demonstrating “smart grid” technology in partnership with the utility Xcel Energy.

Judging from the comments send in to The Daily Camera, the “carbon tax” concept stirs...for the rest, click here.

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