SECTION 1. Section 3 of chapter 25A of the Massachusetts General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting the following definitions: —
“CO2 budget trading program electricity”, electricity the generation of which is regulated by the Massachusetts CO2 budget trading program referenced in 310 CMR 7:70.
“Carbon dioxide equivalent”, or “CO2e”, a unit of measure of the amount of emissions from a greenhouse gas, expressed as the amount of CO2 by weight that would have the same global warming impact.
“Commissioner,” unless otherwise specified, the commissioner of energy resources.
“Employer”, any person, state agency, or local governmental body who has employees working in the commonwealth.
“Fund”, the greenhouse gas emissions charges rebate fund established under section 13B of this chapter.
“Greenhouse gas,” carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), nitrogen trifluoride (NH3), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and any other gaseous matter identified by the department of energy resources as a likely contributor to climate change.
“Greenhouse gas-emitting priority,” matter that emits or is capable of emitting a greenhouse gas when burned and is identified as a priority under the terms of this act, except that natural gas, petroleum, coal, and any solid, liquid or gaseous fuel derived therefrom shall be greenhouse gas-emitting priorities.
“Greenhouse gas emissions charges,” charges imposed pursuant to this chapter on each ton of CO2e.
“Motor vehicle fuel”, fuel for the operation of a motor vehicle, provided, that “fuel” and “motor vehicle” shall have the same meanings as defined in section one of chapter 64A.
“Resident” shall have the same meaning as defined in section one of chapter 62.
SECTION 2. Section 6 of chapter 25A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the last paragraph the following:-
(14) administer the schedules of greenhouse gas emissions charges and the greenhouse gas emissions charges rebate fund, both established pursuant to this chapter.
SECTION 3. Chapter 25A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after section 13 the followings sections:
25A:13A Greenhouse gas emissions charges
Section 13A. (a) The commissioner of energy resources shall collect greenhouse gas emissions charges on the distribution or sale of greenhouse gas-emitting priorities.
(b) The charge in the first year of operation shall be $10 per ton of CO2e. Said charges shall increase by $5 every year until the rate is $40 per ton of CO2e. In the sixth year of implementation, and every two years thereafter, the commissioner of energy resources, in consultation with the commissioner of environmental protection, shall submit a report to the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on telecommunications, utilities and energy, and the house and senate committees on global warming and climate change. Said reports shall consider whether any increases or decreases in greenhouse gas emissions charges are recommended to account for inflation, to ensure progress towards reaching emissions limits for 2030, 2040, and 2050 included in or authorized by chapter 21N, the Climate Protection and Green Economy Act, or, pursuant to section 13B(d)(3) of this chapter, to mitigate serious negative impacts on economic sectors, economic sub-sectors or individual employers of the commonwealth caused by collection of greenhouse gas emissions charges.
(c) The commissioner of energy resources shall determine the schedule of greenhouse gas emissions charges authorized under this chapter by multiplying the CO2e of each greenhouse gas-emitting priority by the charge or charges established herein. To determine said schedule, the commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner of environmental protection, shall, using the best information and science reasonably available, determine the average CO2e of each greenhouse gas-emitting priority.
(d) From time to time the commissioner shall, using the best information and science reasonably available, consider whether to identify any greenhouse gas-emitting matter, in addition to natural gas, petroleum, coal, and any solid, liquid or gaseous fuel derived therefrom, as a greenhouse gas-emitting priority for the purposes of this chapter.
(e) With respect to a greenhouse gas-emitting priority, the commissioner shall not impose charges on any quantity that is used, or reasonably expected to be used, by a CO2 budget unit to produce or generate electricity. Nor shall the commissioner impose charges if, and to the extent that, such charges are duplicative of charges imposed by multi-state agreement or federal law or regulation.
25A:13B Greenhouse gas emissions charges rebate fund
Section 13B. (a) There shall be established on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the greenhouse gas emissions charges rebate fund. The commissioner of energy resources shall deposit all proceeds collected under section 13A into said fund. None of said proceeds shall fund government operations of the commonwealth, other than to pay for reasonable administrative costs as provided under sub-section (b) of this section.
(b) The commissioner of energy resources shall return all proceeds from greenhouse gas emissions charges to residents and employers in the commonwealth in the form of rebates. The proceeds returned to residents shall be reasonably equivalent to the aggregate charges collected on emissions attributable to greenhouse gas-emitting priorities purchased or consumed by residents, and the proceeds returned to employers shall be reasonably equivalent to the aggregate charges collected on emissions attributable to greenhouse gas-emitting priorities purchased or consumed by employers; provided, that the commissioner may retain a reasonable amount of proceeds to pay for the costs of administering the activities authorized by this chapter. Proceeds shall be available for the purposes enumerated in this section without appropriation.
(c)(1) The commissioner of energy resources shall estimate total rebates to be returned to residents pursuant to the terms of this chapter.
(2) The commissioner of energy resources shall set the amount of the individual rebate or rebates to residents; provided, that each resident shall receive an equal rebate, except that residents of rural municipalities shall receive an additional motor vehicle fuel rebate. The commissioner shall annually determine the individual rebate or rebates per resident of the commonwealth. For the purposes of this paragraph, a rural municipality is one in which residents drive, on average, 130% or more per year of the statewide average number of miles driven per household in the commonwealth. The commissioner shall calculate the additional motor vehicle fuel rebate for rural residents by estimating the aggregate charges paid by all residents of the commonwealth on the distribution or sale of motor vehicle fuel, and dividing said estimate by the sum of the number of residents who do not reside in rural municipalities and 1.3 times the number of residents who reside in rural municipalities. The result shall be the individual rebate per resident attributable to charges collected on motor vehicle fuel, which rebate shall be added to the rebate per resident attributable to charges collected on fuels other than motor vehicle fuels, both of which shall then be distributed to all residents of municipalities other than rural municipalities; provided, that the remaining portion of estimated total rebates shall be distributed in equal portions to all residents of rural municipalities.
(3) In rebating greenhouse gas emissions charge proceeds, the commissioner of energy resources shall coordinate with officials of the executive office of health and human services, the executive office of housing and economic development, the department of revenue, and other agencies in making all reasonable efforts to identify the names and addresses of all residents, with special attention to the names and addresses of low-income residents.
(d)(1) The commissioner of energy resources shall estimate total rebates to be returned to employers.
(2) The commissioner of energy resources shall set each employer’s individual rebate based on the employer’s proportional share, in full-time equivalent employees, of statewide employment. The commissioner shall annually determine the employer rebate per full-time equivalent employee; provided, that the commissioner shall not count as an employee any person who would not be considered an employee under section 148B of chapter 149; provided, further, that the commissioner shall count only bona fide employees working in the commonwealth.
(3) The commissioner, in consultation with the secretary of housing and economic development and the commissioner of revenue, shall, with special attention to manufacturing, identify economic sectors, economic sub-sectors or individual employers at risk of serious negative impacts due to the charges collected pursuant to this chapter. The commissioner may, as mitigation, calculate the total proceeds collected from said sectors, subsectors or individual employers and may apportion the entirety of said proceeds to the affected sector, sub-sector or employers.
(4) In rebating greenhouse gas emissions charge proceeds, the commissioner of energy resources shall ensure that all employers in the commonwealth receive said rebate, including those employers otherwise exempt from taxes under chapter 63 due to their status as not-for-profit organizations or government entities.
(e) The commissioner of energy resources shall not be subject to penalties or lawsuits for damages if the charges collected under this chapter are not precisely equal to rebates returned under this chapter; provided, that the commissioner shall make all reasonable efforts to return to residents and employers all charges collected under this chapter. If the charges collected under this chapter unreasonably exceed the rebates returned under this chapter, the salaries payable to the secretary of administration and finance and the secretary of energy and environmental affairs for the year following the year of excessive charges shall be reduced by 15% until said excessive charges are rebated.
25A:13C Regulations; Studies; Miscellaneous
Section 13C. (a) The commissioner of energy resources, in consultation with the commissioner of revenue and the commissioner of environmental protection, shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(b) The commissioner shall make all reasonable efforts to impose and collect the charges authorized pursuant to this chapter at the earliest possible point of distribution or sale within the commonwealth, and in such a manner as to ensure the imposition and collection of charges prior to the occurrence of any fugitive emissions or any leaks due to suboptimal storage or transmission.
(c) The commissioner shall consider various calendar schedules for distribution of the rebates authorized pursuant to this chapter, including partial or whole distributions early in the relevant revenue cycle.
(d) The commissioner shall study the feasibility of imposing and collecting additional greenhouse gas emission charges on emissions, otherwise known as fugitive emissions, attributable to leakage from natural gas infrastructure. The report shall include an analysis of the feasibility and expense of (i) calculating a reasonably accurate current statistical baseline, specific to the Commonwealth, of such emissions, and (ii) developing and deploying a means of calculating reasonably accurate updates of progress or lack thereof in reducing such emissions. Within nine months of the effective date of this act, the commissioner shall submit the report to the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on telecommunications, utilities, and energy, and the house and senate committees on global warming and climate change.
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