According to the Carbon Tax Center, “A carbon tax is a fee imposed on the burning of carbon-based fuels (coal, oil, gas).” Although it may initially appear that a carbon tax would be costly to the construction industry, which has a considerable carbon footprint, the exact opposite may be true. In this brief article, the Colorado Springs construction law attorneys at Cotney Construction Law will discuss how a carbon tax could benefit the construction industry by stimulating job growth.
Clean Energy Spurs Construction
A carbon tax incentivizes businesses to phase out fossil fuels and embrace green energy. Shifting away from fossil fuels can be expensive since it typically requires a considerable front-end investment; however, the construction industry is positioned at a unique junction where these initial costs can be mitigated by the new construction that will be required to facilitate this shift towards green energy. In other words, as businesses go green, the construction industry can follow suit by rolling out electric vehicles while simultaneously covering these expenses by picking up energy infrastructure projects that support the carbon tax.
When the price of coal rises, coal plants are more likely to be replaced with renewable energy, including solar and wind power. This requires new plants, new contracts, and more workers. So, while the cost of construction could potentially rise, the number of available projects should justify these added expenses while bringing in new talent. It’s also worth noting that millennials are increasingly conscious of the state of the environment, which means embracing cleaner construction could inspire new workers to buy into a career in construction.
New Energy Infrastructure is Only the Beginning
Not only would a carbon tax require contractors to focus on building renewable energy infrastructure, it would also require them to consider new approaches to residential and commercial construction. For example, net zero energy proposals have been proposed in many states across the country, many of which call for net zero buildings that utilize as much energy as they create. Additional research and development, increased building costs, and other factors would escalate costs leading to increasingly lucrative projects. This could also lead to an increase in tear downs targeting antiquated and inefficient structures. In many cases, older structures would have to be retrofitted with the necessary components to decrease their carbon footprint, especially in regards to heating and cooling systems.
Whether or not an active carbon tax is being imposed, the construction industry is already heading toward a more energy-efficient future. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, consult an attorney who practices Colorado Springs construction law and has all the tools and knowledge to prevent your business from becoming embroiled in a legal dispute.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.