Boulder Carbon Tax Tracker is a community journalism project to explore how well the nation’s first municipal carbon tax is working. This tax, passed by Boulder voters in November 2006, is a tax on electricity consumption (utility bills) that goes to fund programs by the City of Boulder, Colorado to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We’ll involve community volunteers in and around Boulder as well as key players from city government, local businesses and organizations, and more in following the money, projects, effects, and diverse perspectives on this ambitious effort. We’ll also train citizen journalists to contribute news coverage.
In particular, this project will focus on key questions such as:
- Does it make sense for a local government to try to address global climate change?
- How is the city spending the tax revenue, and how (if at all) is Boulder likely to realistically benefit?
- How are Boulder citizens, businesses, and organizations affected by the city’s climate change action efforts as well as their own?
- How could the city best spend this money over the next few years?
This project is the brainchild of the I, Reporter team of professional journalists, Amy Gahran and Adam Glenn. Local print syndication of selected content from this project will be provided by YourHub and the Boulder County Business Report. We’re starting with a weblog, but this project will expand to include audio and video podcasts and a custom interactive money-tracking tool, and possibly also a wiki and forum.
On May 24, 2007, the project received a $90,000 News Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This will fund the project for one year.If all goes well, at the end of that year this project will have sufficient momentum to keep itself going mostly through volunteer efforts and more modest funding.