It's time for a carbon tax!

It's no longer a surprise when Republicans try to block our president from taking any action on climate change. However, it's quite a shock when a former Bush Administration official comes out in favor of a plan even stronger than the president's. Recently, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson wrote an op-ed in the New York Times calling for a tax on carbon. It shouldn't be a surprise that a well-educated, executive level official believes in science, but it is worth noting that this Republican's carbon tax suggestion is more progressive than the cap-and-trade plan supported by our democratic president.

Unlike a carbon tax, Obama's cap-and-trade does not include methane emissions from natural gas. Cap-and-trade allows Wall Street to continue to manipulate the market and discourage investment in renewables. In addition, because carbon credits in a cap-and-trade system are issued based on how much companies pollute, many utilities ramp up pollution before these systems are put in place in order to “earn” more carbon offsets. In comparison, a carbon tax does not reward current polluters, and it is less susceptible to fraudulent Wall Street trading schemes. By putting a price on actual pollution, a carbon tax lowers the cost of clean energy, and encourages investment in new technology.

A tax on carbon pollution also factors in dangerous methane emissions, and forces the fossil fuel industry to pay for the social costs of destroying our environment. In his op-ed, Hank Paulson wrote, “We can debate the appropriate pricing and policy design and how to use the money generated. But, a price on carbon would change the behavior of both individuals and businesses.” We must continue to fight for that change, and force our president to see that a carbon tax is a better plan than cap-and-trade.

Comments

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 32 weeks ago
#1

Sounds great to me Thom. Obviously if a noted Republican in on board you can only guess that the problem is really bad. We need to act like a threatened beehive on this one. I can only share my previous post once again. I honestly believe that this is our best, simplest, and most natural God given solution to this crisis.

http://thehempsolution.blogspot.com/

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 32 weeks ago
#2

Apropos to #2 ~ Of course when I say "natural God given solution to this crisis," I am referring to this Biblical quote:

Quote The Book of Revelations:Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

douglas m 8 years 32 weeks ago
#3

I just hope and pray this country and all countries do more than necessary,

or unfortunately would be forced

into not becoming the frog in the boiling water, so to speak.

A species that looks ahead and acts accordingly based on our best knowledge.

Instead of waiting until the cost is too high or irreversible.

Or both. the hesitation to not do everything possible is sad.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 32 weeks ago
#4

I wish Hank P would have mentioned the rebate part of the carbon tax.

leonnie's picture
leonnie 8 years 32 weeks ago
#5

Of course you are right - and our Prime Minister Tony Abbot has just abolished ours - set up by the previous PM Julia Gillard. :(

Leonnie - Australia

bobcox's picture
bobcox 8 years 32 weeks ago
#6

Both Cap and Trade and the proposed Carbon tax will raise the price of electric service. All the Corporations will do is tack their costs onto our bill. Most Public Utility companies are allowed a percentage of current assets for their calculating prices in order to obtain the legally mandated maximum profit. Any modification of the present process engineering design will increase costs and not produce as much electrical power for the thermodynamic load. Result: Increased costs to the consumer. Can we afford that? That is the question. Can we afford to not? Which alternative provides the best results for the lowest cost to the consumer?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 32 weeks ago
#7

bobcox -- The proposal is to tax and rebate. The population will provided extra cash through the rebate. They do have the choice to buy gasoline (e.g. at $20 gallon) or buy an electric car and solar panels on their roof.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 32 weeks ago
#8

Carbon tax sounds great, but considering the risk of climate change to mankind, I'd prefer a total government takeover of the energy sector. Then make "Green," the law of the land.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 32 weeks ago
#9

We should make every company responsible for all aspects of cleaning up their product, not just in the air, but landfill as well.

Some products already have this: companies that do oil changes and auto parts stores must also collect used oil and car batteries. We should extend this to include EVERYTHING. I should be able to take my garbage to Target, since that's where I buy most of my stuff, and they should have to either pay for the landfill, or figure out a way to make money recycling it.

It's a win-win for all, really.

Lefties get: Instant recycling programs around the country, and profit motives for the companies to reduce their garbage and recycle more.

Righties get: A weakened sanitation worker union, since they won't be needed anymore, and a break from the taxes and fees that come along with disposing of your own garbage.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 32 weeks ago
#10

Chi Matt -- What we need is a competitive carbon market place. Where is Teddy R when we need him?

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While