Rhode Island would be first state to impose carbon tax; trucking industry braces for higher costs

Carbon TaxA bill currently under consideration by the Rhode Island legislature would make the Ocean State the first to impose a “carbon tax” on fossil fuel production. This is important news for the trucking industry because if enacted as written it means gasoline and diesel fuel producers will be hit with a new tax which will be passed along one way or another to long haulers.

Meant to accelerate the state’s transition from oil, gasoline, and natural gas to local renewable energy like solar and wind power, it would do so by taxing, among other products, gasoline and diesel fuel. The bill, known as the Clean Energy Investment and Carbon Pricing Act of 2017, imposes a $15 tax on each ton of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses emitted from the burning of a fossil fuel.  Gas and diesel retailers would either have the fee paid by their distributors or collect it at the pump.

Either way, that cost will be coming out of truckers’ pockets.

Meant to be proactive against the effects of climate change, the bill’s intent is to “Create a clean energy and jobs fund to foster innovative practices, which will strengthen Rhode Island’s position in advancing efficient use of energy, make Rhode Island a nationally recognized leader in energy efficiency, stimulate job creation, and enhance innovation-based economic growth.”

These are lofty goals. State Senator Jeanine Calkin of Warwick, sponsor of the bill, called it “our generation’s moonshot and we need to take steps to do it right now.”

Providence Rep. Aaron Regunberg, sponsor of the bill in the state house, added, “The need for this legislation has never been more critical.”

Will it pass? That’s hard to say, but the tendency of politicians to draft legislation that chips away the trucking industry’s bottom line isn’t going away anytime soon.

The Rhode Island carbon tax is just one of many trucking and transportation related issues that we follow closely here at Sinclair Risk. We couldn’t do our job if we didn’t! We pride ourselves on our deep industry knowledge and our proven track record of helping clients mitigate risk and keep their losses low.

Sinclair’s proprietary Risk Safeguard Advantage is a financial risk management system designed to dramatically reduce organizational exposures and premium costs while consistently improving productivity and morale. Elements included for our trucking clients include a driver incentive program, driver qualifications review program, defensive driver training, and expert help on responding to OSHA citations.

Interested in learning more? Check out my recent white paper, “How to avoid getting run over by a massive fleet insurance price increase.”

Jonathan Belek
Risk Management Consultant

Jon Belek

Energy Dealer Insurance: The Pros and Cons of Solar Energy

Energy Dealer Insurance The Pros and Cons of Solar EnergyEnergy Dealer Insurance: The Pros and Cons of Solar Energy

If someone were to ask the American population of 1990 their opinion of solar energy, many individuals would say that it was unnecessary. However, years have gone and America has been able to experience the changes our world has been going through. According to a recent poll done by Sungevity illustrated that nearly 9 out of 10 American adults believe solar energy should play a bigger role. They even went as far as surveying if political parties affected their perspective on solar energy. However, 81% stated that regardless of their political affiliation, solar energy should be used in state and federal residences. Although the majority of Americas acknowledge and agree with the benefits of solar energy, there are still disadvantages we need to be aware of. Are you in the industry of energy? We would love to quote you with Energy Dealer Insurance. Give us a call today – (877) 602-2305

Here are the pros and cons of solar energy.


  • No Pollution:  If more individuals were to use solar panels, essentially our air would be free of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury.  Unlike its counterparts, solar power does not burn fuels or generates emission. We would only have a minimal amount of pollution due to the manufacturing of solar panels.
  • No Noise: Because solar energy produces electricity our world would be less quiet compared to the loud noises fossil fuel and wind turbines produce.
  • Cost efficient:  Although it may be costly to install solar panels, it will ultimately save money because the operation of solar panels use little energy.
  • Renewable: Throughout the past few years, America is starting to realize that we are running out of resources and we need to start creating alternative resources. Solar energy is sustainable and renewable. As long as the sun is shining (NASA has predicted this to be another 6.5 billion year), we will have solar energy


  • Cost: The major con of solar energy that has pushed away a lot of Americans is the initial cost of solar cells. However, the investment is well worth the initial cost.
  • Climate:  While solar energy can be used during most weather conditions, it is not effective when it’s overcast. This variability forces us to depend on other resources as well.
  • Sunlight: Unfortunately, solar energy is ineffective when there isn’t any sunlight. This means that solar panels would only be beneficial during the day time.

Sinclair Risk & Financial Management offers a customized, comprehensive risk management and insurance program for Energy Dealers to protect businesses from risks of financial loss. Our staff’s knowledge of this complex and ever-changing industry helps us identify and protect against the exposures your unique operation encounters. We’ll help you balance your obligations to the environment, community, and company’s bottom line. Give Sinclair a call at 203.265.0996