Graduate Students weigh in on carbon tax to fund renewable energy in New York State
Two PhD candidates, Erik Huber and Sean Hillson published an editorial entitled, "Let carbon tax fuel renewables" in the Albany Times Union newspaper on April 3rd. In their piece, they present an argument for the use of a carbon tax to fund the growth of renewable energy supplies in New York State. Their analysis of this question started during a project in ChemE 6660, "Analysis of Sustainable Energy Systems". Erik Huber is 2nd year PhD candidate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering working with Profs. Stroock and Koch on the analysis of strategies for carbon sequestration. He is currently a fellow of the Earth Energy IGERT program. Sean Hillson is a 2nd year PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering working with Prof. Tester in the Cornell Energy Institute on alternative drilling technologies for geothermal energy.
New York State is required to increase renewable energy generation so that it makes up 30% of it's electricity portfolio by 2015. However, the revenue stream used to fund the necessary projects to uphold this mandate is inadequate and should be supplemented with a carbon tax. This would not only provide the additional revenue required to fund renewable energy but would simultaneously penalize substandard coal fired power plants..