An Unexpected Carbon Tax Proposal

What’s surprising is who’s pushing it: dyed-in-the-wool, rock-ribbed Republicans.

By Llewellyn King,

Call it a tax without tears. It is a proposal to address carbon pollution by replacing a raft of tax subsidies and regulatory requirements with a carbon tax.

What is surprising is who is pushing it: dyed-in-the-wool, rock-ribbed Republicans.

They are the top of the GOP: Every one of them has had an outstanding career in finance, industry or academia. They are men and women who contribute to Republican candidates regularly — and some of them quite generously.

These Republican grandees and party financiers have formed the Alliance for Market Solutions (AMS), which aims to educate conservative policymakers on the benefits of market-oriented solutions to climate change.

“A carbon tax, if the myriad of subsidies and regulations that policymakers now use to affect markets are stripped away, would lead to economic growth and achieve significant carbon pollution reductions,” says Alex Flint, executive director of AMS. Well-known in Republican circles, he previously served as staff director of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and as senior vice president of government affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The organization’s 10-member advisory board includes John Rowe, former chairman and CEO of Exelon Corporation, the largest diversified utility in the United States, and Marvin Odum, former chairman and president of Shell Oil Company and board member of the American Petroleum Institute.

What we need now, Rowe said, is “a new approach to energy tax and regulation that advances our strategic policy objectives and recognizes that the period of scarcity that began in the 1970s is over. We no longer need to subsidize energy production.”

Instead, we need policies that address “the next great energy challenge: carbon pollution,” he said.

Rowe and AMS allies believe that pairing a “revenue-neutral” carbon tax with a regulatory rollback would be good climate policy.

Flint explained, “A carbon tax would ideally be imposed upstream where carbon enters the economy. Costs would then be passed down the consumption chain through prices, which would impact decision-making and drive the use of cleaner fuels and new technologies across the economy.”

Studies by AMS estimate that a carbon tax would generate over $1 trillion in additional revenue over the next decade, which lawmakers could use to reduce other, more distortionary taxes, or do things like make the 2017 tax reform permanent or even further reduce income taxes.

Rather than mounting a loud public-pressure campaign, Flint told me the members of the alliance — which also includes William Strong, chairman and managing director of Longford Capital Management and Chris DeMuth, distinguished fellow at the Hudson Institute — began by meeting quietly with influential Republicans in small groups, going over the gains which would come from tax reform and emphasizing that the carbon tax does not have to be a one-size-fits-all solution, although it is a simple solution to a pressing problem.

Emphasis has been on Republicans who wield power behind the scenes and the tax writers in the House and the Senate. The reformers are getting a hearing, I am told.

The alliance has tried hard to get the facts and detailed analyses nailed down ahead of public discussion. They have done this in a new book, “Carbon Tax Policy: A Conservative Dialogue on Pro-Growth Opportunities,” edited by Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute.

The book is, you might say, the creed of the AMS. It is an eye-opening read by conservatives who want to limit government market-meddling and bring about sound policy through enlightened taxation. By Llewellyn King,

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  56 comments for “An Unexpected Carbon Tax Proposal

  1. Kevin Beck says:

    Typical so-called conservative policy: Just twist the taxes around, so that someone else pays for what they don’t get.

    Tax policy should not be based upon shifting the burden around by making irrational claims about the results of not taxing energy as a way of encouraging governments to spend more because they will find a new way to recover the costs.

    • Prairies says:

      Don’t focus on the party. Focus on the policy, they are using the same idea that Liberals in Canada are trying to force. “Which would impact decision-making and drive the use of cleaner fuels and new technologies across the economy”. This line sums it up, tax everything down the line connected to emissions. Freight will go up, fuel will go up, food will go up, etc. Watch them try and hide inflation while doing it.

    • RangerOne says:

      This is the wrong way to think about this. Right now, heavy co2 emitters are essentially subsidized by the public. Because they are allowed to spew harmful shit into the air cost free. They are passing the cost of their actions down to future generations. So they are not paying a fair price for the energy they are producing.

      A carbon tax seeks to find a fair price. In theory this is a perfect solution. In practice I am sure like anything else their are pitfalls and room to fuck things up.

      But anything is better than sitting on our hands.

      • Prairies says:

        This is a bit of a hyperbole but in theory they could tax people more for making phone calls instead of texting. If you text your fingers don’t emit an emission but if you talk on the phone your mouth suddenly increases carbon dioxide output. In this scenario phone companies will force people to be quiet and shut up, just for emissions. As over the top as the people saying cows pollute too much with their methane output.

        People can’t change habits to solar and battery power because the materials required to shift are too rare and too expensive- ask Tesla. Either we pillage the world of one resource or we strip it for another. Taxing the powerless to fuel the rich and powerful is the most backwards thinking way possible.

      • Mr. Knoss says:

        “Right now, heavy co2 emitters are essentially subsidized by the public.”

        Which for the most part the US military, which is the go to security force for all “c02” infrastructure.

        Remove that publically funded security force of private enterprise and CUT taxes.

      • Alistair McLaughlin says:

        Problem is, everyone who drives is spewing harmful shit into the air. So making them pay for it means everyone pays more for fuel and energy. Which I am fine with. I’d love to see a massive shift away from income tax, and toward consumption and particular energy consumption tax. Wouldn’t bother me a bit to pay $2.50 a litre for fuel if I paid $1000 per year less in income tax. It would force people to be more careful about how much driving they do, and what kind of vehicle they drive. There would be a lot fewer punks driving their Ford F250s around the city, that’s for sure.

      • Nick says:

        So I work for a steel company and we have a shredder that shreds metal (recycled metal) and this is in turn melted down into steel which in turn is used to rebuild America, build wind turbines, autos etc. So you’re saying because we “spew” crap into the air (what a moronic statement) we should go out of business, kill thousands of good blue collar American jobs, and basically further drive a nail into the coffin of American industry? Meanwhile, our out of control medical industry is paving over millions of acres of nature to build million dollar “orthopedic urgent cares”, and developers are turning farmland into subdivisions. Oh yeah but polluting the air is so much more damaging to the environment. What a joke!

        There is NO SUCH THING as clean energy period. The world runs on fossil fuels always will. Until we start mining to moon and beyond get used to it. Stop cutting down trees, create more green space, turn shopping malls into parks, stop fouling our water supply, yadda yadda. These are REAL environmental problems not climate change bs. Save the rain forests would be a smart idea too!

  2. titan28 says:

    A carbon tax to address what “pressing problem?” Climate change? Are they after CO2, in which case they are fools, or is it carbon, plain and simple? Good luck on that. We don’t have enough regulation on that front? Now we need new taxes?

    And what will they do with the money? Friends and family?

    How about instead of raising taxes, these idiot solons manage to come up with a scheme wherein which government somehow manages to live within its means, and stop exponentially increasing annual expenditures, which are mostly evidence of waste, corruption and incompetence?

    • Wolf Richter says:


      The article is about collecting the same amount of taxes from different sources than currently practiced. It also includes the elimination of subsidies for energy production, which would save a lot of money. Carbon tax and the market’s reaction to it instead of climate-change regulation — that’s what this article says.

      Please take the time and read the article before going off the rail :-]

      • Slavko says:

        People are upset. I hear the man (titan28). Too many damn politicians are lying, and why should they get a pass now without bitter scrutiny? No more easy talk. They are too righteous, too committed to make a mark, and too proud to step aside and let the better parts of society figure it out, or at least team up with some better brains.

        • Alistair McLaughlin says:

          If you oppose every policy change because you’re angry and politicians are “liars”, then that means you are supporting the status quo by default. Forever. Is that what you want? Think carefully. A knee-jerk preference for the devil you know is probably the worst possible way to make a decision about anything. But it also requires the least effort, which no doubt appeals to the chronically angry.

      • titan28 says:


        I take your point, and maybe I came across as too irate, but I did read the article. Getting rid of energy subsidies ,etc., changing how taxes are raised, may well be a good thing in and off itself, irrespective of the reasons behind it. As others have said, you could add a VAT in the mix. No one would say our present tax structure is even remotely rational or fair.

        However, what stops me is that this whole thing, specifically, a carbon tax, appears to be driven by a particular belief about climate change, that it is catastrophic, caused by human activity, and that we can somehow make it go away.

        I just don’t buy it.

        Sidebar: I read you every day. 97% I’m on the same page. I may even be here, up to a point, but I need more convincing. Sadly, I trust no politician or connected Washington whiz kid.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Your last line — “Sadly, I trust no politician or connected Washington whiz kid” — I totally get that. I’m in the same boat.

        • Mad As Hell says:

          Definitely on the same page on this. And I will add this; We can do everything under the sun to limit carbon and supposedly prevent “climate change”, however the Chinese, who pollute 10 times more than we do, also live on the same planet, and will continue to pollute. So essentially all that would do is make us even more noncompetitive to them, and drive out more domestic production. If these politicians really wanted to change the “climate”, they would force a tariff on Chinese goods equal to the amount of environmental arbitrage they are enabling by having literally no environmental standards at all.

    • Malthus says:


  3. Kean W. Stimm (KWS) says:

    To make a carbon tax successful, the states will need to remove the restriction that prevents Investor Owned Electric Utilities from owning their own small wind turbines and solar panels.

    Wind and solar are the only practical sources of renewable energy. Huge engineering breakthroughs have recently taken place, especially wind. Nothing important will happen until these restrictions are removed

    • Alistair McLaughlin says:

      Agreed. A policy tilt towards small, personalized, renewable energy production would be a welcome change from subsidizing giant wind and solar farms.

  4. HB Guy says:

    Tax proposals such as the carbon tax discussed in this article are about wealth redistribution and nothing more. As I read the article, I could also imagine a similar thought process being used to justify a value added tax (VAT) in good old IOUSA.

    Climate change is NOT caused by CO2. There is NO global warming, but there IS global cooling, brought about by the Grand Solar Minimum, which is intensifying as this is written. CO2 should be welcomed, as plants need it to grow.

    Rather than worrying about a non-issue, these individuals with “outstanding careers” should concern themselves with how food production will be maintained as the world cools, and major food producing areas in all parts of the world go offline due to lower temperatures.

    • Mean Chicken says:

      I’ve seen this movie before as well, any carbon tax receipts will no doubt disappear with a giant sucking sound only to resurface as part of the great income divide.

    • Kent says:

      A real group of physicists from UCSD did the calculations on the effects of the Grand Solar Minimum. The results were that there is a high probability of entering a Maunder Minimum around 2020 and there will be net reduction in the level of global warming for a decade. However, by 2050, it will be like it never happened.

      Global Warming is real. Humidity in the Southeast in the summer makes everything hotter. Humidity is just warming caused by an increase of H2O in the air. CO2 has the same effect. Fortunately, H2O has a dew point and leaves the air when it gets cool enough. That doesn’t work with CO2. So global warming is like the slow build up of humidity over generations. Like an electric blanket that keeps getting hotter.

      The Grand Solar Minimum, while real, is no match for global warming, as shown by real physics and math, not just hucksters on YouTube.

      I support a fairly steep carbon tax. And the revenues should be used to subsidize wind and solar installations. It is the conservative solution to the problem.

      • Robert_D says:

        Concomitant with your comment, I found this chart to be enlightening :

        • Winston says:

          Yeah, here’s where that data came from, ONE geographical area on Earth. Do you see that there could be a problem with that?

        • Winston says:

          On the “certainty” level displayed by climatologists which, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have jobs, a paper from -1994-:

          Verification, Validation, and Confirmation of
          Numerical Models in the Earth Sciences
          Naomi Oreskes; Kristin Shrader-Frechette; Kenneth Belitz
          Science, New Series, Vol. 263, No. 5147. (Feb. 4, 1994), pp. 641-646


          Verification and validation of numerical models of natural systems is impossible. This is because natural systems are never closed and because model results are always non-unique. Models can be confirmed by the demonstration of agreement between observation and prediction, but confirmation is inherently partial. Complete confirmation is logically precluded by the fallacy of affirming the consequent and by incomplete access to natural phenomena. Models can only be evaluated in relative terms, and their predictive value is always open to question. The primary value of models is heuristic.

          Numerical models are increasingly being used in the public arena, in some cases to justify highly controversial decisions. Therefore, the implication of truth is a serious matter. The terms verification and validation are now being used by scientists in ways that are contradictory and misleading. In the earth sciences-hydrology, geochemistry, meteorology, and oceanography-numerical models always represent complex open systems in which the operative processes are incompletely understood and the required empirical input data are incompletely known. Such models can never be verified.

        • Winston says:

          And this:

          Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

      • HB Guy says:

        Global warming, and cooling, occur cyclically in conjunction with solar activity and have done so for thousands of years. The CO2 levels cited in the UCSD study neglect to account for levels that were as high as, or higher, millennia ago when there was no industrial or man-made activity.

        Some notable examples of recent NATURALLY occurring global warming is the melting of the east Antarctica ice shelf, which many scientists, including NASA’s, attribute to an increase in undersea volcanic activity.

        There is also substantial reason to be skeptical of assertions of CO2’s impact on global warming, given the manipulation of data used in many by so-called academics whose sole objective was to prove their false assumptions.

        Previous Grand Solar Minimums (GSM) have had significant impacts on weather patterns, crop production, seismic and volcanic activity. The next GSM appears to be one of the most intense in centuries, given the low level of sunspot activity and its potential for further intensification. UCSD’s conclusion that it will have little impact on the climate strikes me as naive with the intended purpose of advancing the global warming hoax.

        • Kent says:

          I don’t ever expect to change people’s minds. But consider that no one wants global warming to be true. The implications are too uncertain with the outer band of issues being catastrophic. So imagine if someone could prove that it was untrue. Then sold that research to the oil companies for $1 billion. The oil companies would happily pay up for that and all of humanity would be relieved. Said person would be a world hero. And it wouldn’t be hard to prove. You just have show that any one (not all 5) of the following is untrue:

          1. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.
          2. An increasing amount of carbon dioxide will make the atmosphere hotter (maybe there is something that offsets it).
          3. The amount of carbon dioxide is growing.
          4. The temperature is really increasing over time.
          5. Humans have put enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to cause the increase in (3. and thus 4.).

          If any one of those 5 things are false, The entire theory dies! It is a shame that not one single real scientific experiment has ever been able to show that even one of those things is false. Not one. Ever.

          Now I know your theory is that every single physicist and climatologist in the world is secretly colluding with liberal environmentalists to force people to trade in their F150s for a Fiat 500, or worse, one of those little Mercedes Smart For-Two jobbers. Personally, I’d rather be shot than found driving one of those things. And not a single one of them wants to be a fabulously wealthy, world-saving hero. And that is why I know I will never change your mind.

      • elysianfield says:

        “I support a fairly steep carbon tax.”

        Excellent! Have you mentioned this to the Chinese, Pakistani and Indian powers that be? How about Malaysia?

        Kumbaya, m’Lord, Kumbaya….

        • AJ says:

          1- just because CO2 is a greenhouse gas doesn’t mean anything
          2- At 0.03% of the atmosphere, CO2 concentration so small, I am incredulous that people attribute global warming to CO2
          3- So what, its minuscule to begin with
          4- Unlcear wityh all the data manipulation by NOAA. I would also like to ask (1) how much has temperature increased (2) how is temperature calculated of the whole globe and how is compared to historical results (3) what is the accuracy of the sensors deployed
          5- what is the proof that humans are responsible for this?

    • Paulo says:

      They sell tinfoil hats on Ebay. Global cooling?

      “The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.5 Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. ”

  5. Robert_D says:

    Would a carbon-tax necessarily be a death-blow to using coal for electricity generation?

    Coal being mostly carbon, as distinct from other fuels which are nuclear, renewable or hydro-carbon, etc. ?

    I am neither being pro-coal nor anti-coal here. I am just inquiring as to what might be seen to be one logical outcome of a Carbon Tax.

    Regardless of the “Carbon in Coal” part of the equation, I do know that coal is a dirty fuel.

  6. BoyfromTottenham says:

    Let’s see how Trump responds to this – he has a damn fine nose for BS like ‘carbon pollution’, and seems to be trying to do everything he can to get the USA working again by rolling back myriad useless regulations, subsidies, taxes and on-costs that are sapping the productive parts of the US economy. I can’t imagine him buying this. You cannot tax an economy to health. The German ‘economic miracle’ after WW2 was mainly due to the slashing of such regulatory strangulation, and saw a heavily war-damaged country rapidly rebuild to become the economic powerhouse of Europe within a couple of decades.

  7. AG says:

    I think what’s more surprising than who’s pushing the proposal is that we’re finally taking it seriously after about 20 years. The “Economist” magazine back then said it would be a way to level the playing field: “That means, for example, dismantling the many subsidies that prop up coal and other fossil fuels. It also means introducing a carbon tax or similar mechanism to ensure that prices for fossil fuels reflect the harm they do to human health and to the environment.”

    Around that time even the OECD argued for it, so that burning fossil fuels would reflect the full cost, and thereby accelerate the transition to wind, solar, and geothermal energy.

    Lester Brown, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, estimated we were already paying around $15 per gallon for gas, not the then $3 at the pump, if we include the “off-the-books” costs. In other words, we are already paying the tax for carbon, but indirectly.

  8. Realist says:

    Different forms of clean tech is the future with great market potential. This is an area where after all the USSA is lagging behind the Chinese and Europeans simply because it is not politically profitabe in the US. A visely executed carbon tax would pay off in forcing US companies to create new cleaner technologies and sould benefit the public coffers too. Current US policy leaves this market to others.

  9. Slavko says:

    I know you guys want to discuss this properly and politely. But, it is much greater than that. They have climate changing equipment for instance; that thy are deploying now. Has anybody noticed cloud printing? How much jet fuel is being blown on that? And what the hell are we breathing? Some have found startling materials. Carbon is a wool over the eyes of the public. Bunker fuel produces so much more than cars and trucks combined, see Robert Hargraves’, “Thorium Cheaper Thank Coal” book. The fact is that we are all between a rock and a very hard place. We do have to start somewhere, but not with more lies. Honesty is the best here, but who dares say anything remotely resembling the truth? No one will say I made a mistake. This is why we are always in a delusional quagmire.

  10. Halsey Taylor says:

    Ahh… there it is:

    “..pairing a “revenue-neutral” carbon tax with a regulatory rollback would be good climate policy.”

    Sounds like the classic bait-n-switch. Roll back the regulations, then dilly dally on the tax.

  11. Flying monkey says:

    As a mechanical engineer and I am versed in the basics of heat transfer. The heat transfer mechanics of CO2 and other gases don’t justify to me the argument about climate change and CO2. CO2 is supposed reflects back to the earth’s surface the IR energy, which in theory leads to a warmer surface.

    Thermal conductivity of Gases @300K mW/Mk
    Methane 34.1
    Air 26.2
    Oxygen 26.3
    nitrogen 26
    Water 18.7
    CO2 16.8

    Low level of CO2…. 300 ppm versus 400 ppm (we will ignore the trace gases, assume it is either N2, O2 or CO2)

    .78 x 26 + .2197 x 26.3 + .0003 x 16.8 = A
    .78 x 26 + .2196 x 26.3 + .0004 x 16.8= B
    A = 20.28 + 5.7781 +.0505 = 26.1086
    B = 20.28 + 5 .7755 + .0672 = 26.1227

    (26.1227-26.1086)/26.1086= .054% difference. Can a .054% change in the thermal coefficient of the atmosphere be responsible for global warming? Sure, you can see CO2 is a better insulator 35% than other gases, but it is counter balance by the small proportion.

    If methane is such a bad green house gas, how come it lets 30% more IR energy pass though it than a normal air mixture? You would not choose a “blanket” out of methane over normal air.

    Air has a 20% greater specific heat coefficient than CO2 (1.01 versus .844 (kJ/(kg K)) . CO2 will take less energy to heat a kg of CO2 than air. Methane on the other hand, heats ups have as fast as air as it has a coefficient of 2.2 kJ/(kg K.

    I’d like to know what I am missing in the heat transfer mechanics of the argument.

    • Kent says:

      Thermal conductivity is not the key issue. It is very specifically the ability of molecules to absorb and hold in a “dipole moment” radiation in the infrared spectrum. Atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen do not absorb radiation in the infrared spectrum.

      However, if thermal conductivity of gases were the issue, your thought process and math would be spot on.

      I read somewhere that even without global warming, that if you removed the normal quantities of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, temperatures would be about 50 degrees cooler all year round. Which shows the effect of even small amounts.

    • Rob says:

      You seem to be the only one here on the right track.
      CO2 is a greenhouse gas – one which traps radiant heat leaving the Earth – but it is a weak one. Its only significant absorption band, at 15 micron, is already saturated at its peak. Basic physics shows it can never have a strong effect on global temperatures. Observation confirms this. Over the last half a billion years, while CO2 has varied between 7,000 ppm and 180 ppm, it has never been seen to drive temperatures. But of course temperatures can drive CO2, for the simple reason that warming oceans release it and cooling ones absorb it. This can be seen clearly during the ice ages.

      • Paulo says:

        Anecdotal. Regardless of the mechanics involved and disputing arguments, I spent almost 30 years flying along the west coast of BC. In that time I have witnessed glacier reductions at an alarming rate, every year, and without fail.

        I remember going to work in Yukon. My boss at the time (1980s) talked to me about the changed winters. He was from Mayo, born and raised. Back then he stated the winters were almost 10 degree warmer, and he had his records to prove it.

        Now, no one disputes it…especially if you’ve flown over the dead pine beetle forests of BC; now speading east over the Rockies and farther north into the boreal region.


  12. Dave says:

    Something doesn’t sound right, “revenue neutral” and “generate addutiinal revenue of 1 trillion”?

    Rowe and AMS allies believe that pairing a “revenue-neutral” carbon tax,…


    Studies by AMS estimate that a carbon tax would generate over $1 trillion in additional revenue over the next decade,…


    • Wolf Richter says:

      It ruffles my feathers when folks willfully quote stuff out of context — such as by leaving off the second part of a sentence — to pervert the message. Here is the whole sentence — make sure to read the second part:

      “Studies by AMS estimate that a carbon tax would generate over $1 trillion in additional revenue over the next decade, which lawmakers could use to reduce other, more distortionary taxes, or do things like make the 2017 tax reform permanent or even further reduce income taxes.

      • Dave says:

        Read the whole thing but taxes arent usually revenue neutral. Also, there are “…” meaning that there is more after the piece that I quoted. Anyone in this forum would have read the whole article.

        Don’t get ruffled so easily.

      • chris Hauser says:

        it’s always comforting to hear that new tax revenue will reduce taxes.

        and that the nuclear energy lobby supports carbon taxes to reduce taxes, so monies can go to more productive uses.

        how about nuclear reactors in the saudi desert?

        i feel better now.

  13. Mean Chicken says:

    Nobody mentioned ocean acidification, as if NASA spending takes priority. Any carbon taxes should be prioritized to combat ocean degradation, not some hedge funds book.

    Prove to me this isn’t another ruse.

  14. Petunia says:

    Steve Bannon is right when he says both political parties are comfortable degrading the standard of living of the American worker. These initiatives like carbon taxes, open borders, and raiding pensions are global initiatives all about impoverishing the American worker. Vote them all out while you still can.

  15. GSH says:

    We are a carbon-based life form. A carbon tax is the ultimate wet dream. What better way to tax anything and everything?

    I just note the carbon tax money goes into the general budget to be spent by politicians as they see fit. That is how they are saving the planet.

    Cremation in parts of Canada is now subject to carbon tax (about $100). Clearly establishes that we are just considered “pollutants”.

    The real issue that nobody wants to talk about is over-population.

  16. RangerOne says:

    It’s only surprising because at some point a campaign of pure disinformation was simply too successful, making the meer existence of climate change a partisan issue.

    The carbon tax was always a reasonable market friendly solution available. Saddly now I wouldn’t be surprised if even this is doomed to fail since they have convinced most of the Republican base that climate science is a hoax…

    I would happily watch them toss regulations if they replaced them with a carbon tax.

  17. Ambrose Bierce says:

    Makes sense [from their perspective], to put a tax on the consumers carbon footprint. All environmental issues aside its a way to measure who is using the most (resources), which makes it the most fundamental form of a VAT which is where the GOP is going. It also favors the rich who have access to renewable energy, a 10000 sq ft mansion may have a smaller footprint than a middle class home where dad drives a 3/4 ton utility truck, while mr rich britches drives a Tesla. Do organic vegetables have a smaller carbon footprint? yes.

  18. RangerOne says:

    There is zero controversy around climate change within the science community. It is shocking the amount of the population that the media and the energy industry have managed to confuse into thinking we are not vastly increasing the global levels if CO2 with real, obvious and observable impact.

    If you can’t even agree with this premise then all solutions are a crock of shit. The same level of nonsense coming from anti vaxers. It’s like a 1/3 the population was confused into believing with the power of logic and scientific reasoning they can refute or understand any issue. I am sad to say no matter how smart you think you are or how much free time you have none of us can sit here and refute decades of sound research and observation.

    Stop letting half ass partisan news orgs feed you bullshit under the guise of science and a handful of papers funded by heavy poluters.

    This is why I will I welcome the robot appocolypse. Humans are morons and we deserve to die on our shitty little planet. At least if robots wipe us out we will have managed to create something intelligent that can out live or collective stupidly.

    • Ambrose Bierce says:

      The demagogues have hijacked the message, climate change becomes MANMADE climate change, [does it matter?] the March For Life is about children afraid to go to school, it’s not a gun control issue. Meanwhile let’s cut up these carbon credits so the rich can benefit.

  19. raxadian says:

    The current US president will veto it even if it becomes a law. And by how fast these things go it might actually become a law when the Democrats are back in Office.

  20. John Taylor says:

    It’s good to see an actual carbon tax proposal. Many people believe CO2 emissions are a threat, and taxing them is a simple way of encouraging CO2 reduction.
    Cap and trade has always been a corrupt political game. It not only allows politicians to give public money to their supporters in the form of carbon credit handouts, but it allows an even more flagrant avenue toward wealth by insider trading.
    Every time politicians start discussing new cap limits (lower or higher is irrelevant), they are fully allowed to place bets – both in the stock market and in the cap and trade market – so that they can front-run the price moves from their changes.

  21. Thinker says:

    Do not believe everything you read! Exelon is heavy in Nuclear with 27 units in 14 plants 62% of their energy mix. Though they maybe CARBON FREE. They are very expensive to maintain, operate and secure from general attacks and cyber. This is a back door play to promote Trumps Nuclear. A fuel resourse that the power generation industry is moving away from. Westinghouse went bankrupt. And the cost of Vogtle 3 &4 at $25B and rising.

    Twenty reactors are currently being decommissioned and only 2 reactors are under construction Vogel 3&4 . Summer 2&3 was stopped and is a huge hickup in the Dominion deal because SCANA customers are already paying for units that will never come on line.

    New nuclear is dead and old nuclear is dying. Natural Gas is cheap and wind and solar are competitive.

    This is another Trump distraction!

  22. WSKJ says:

    New taxes. Always a good idea; we know the government will use the new $ wisely. Just look at the description of the use to which the new $ will be put: “…drive the use of cleaner fuels…” That’s pretty specific (sarc.).

    It will be a lot like the channeling of $ for more better U.S. healthcare to- oh, wait a minute, – to INSURANCE companies. And so on.

    And, back to a “carbon tax”, we know how important this is, because the true believers are flying around in private jets to lecture us on how important it is.

    Taking the long view, and here I’m talking geologically long, climate change is , was, and ever will be. The idea that we really understand all the drivers of earth’s climate change, and are ready to control that climate change, strikes me as hubris.

    Wolf, you are a master of the deeper-look posts, and when you cover proposed uses of a “carbon tax” with a little deeper digging, and informative detail, you do us all a great service. In the meanwhile, a new tax proposal intended to “drive the use of cleaner fuels” sounds to me more like, “drive the $ to the tax collector”.

  23. Laughing Eagle says:

    This taxwill be used to fund the corporate tax cut and maybe further corporate tax cuts according to the book quoted in the article- Carbon Tax Policy by Alex Brill of AEI.
    It will be sold to us as a progressive 21st Century idea. Modernization of old out dated policies. We will indirectly pay the tax thru higher prices and the corporations will pay less in taxes. Another cost shift idea in disguise.
    We would need the rest of the industrialized nations to also follow to have a significant effect on climate change.

  24. rock-ribbed Republicans = Communist posers

    Carbon taxes are export tariffs unless equally levied on imports and NOBODY is talking about carbon taxes on imports.

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