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  • The Carbon-Tax-Swap Fantasy

    To its credit, the Obama Administration has yet to endorse a carbon tax.

    Such a tax is promised as the one-two punch that will put a significant dent in America’s fiscal crisis and the supposed impending doom from manmade global warming. This “market-based” approach will, supporters promise, bring new revenue to pay down the debt while reducing carbon dioxide emissions in a way that is less economically damaging than a cap-and-trade program.

    But look past all the promises of revenue neutrality, and what do you find? A mess of bad assumptions and special interests.

    Assumption #1: A carbon tax would reduce global warming. Regardless of what the truth is about manmade global warming or how fast the climate is warming or changing, a carbon tax would have a negligible effect on the global climate. Environmentalists are eager to point fingers at China when the solar industry fails to succeed even with federal subsidies, but they don’t seem to notice that any American carbon controls would have a miniscule impact on world temperatures—even if you believe the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s estimates.

    Though Europe is bending over backwards to reduce its emissions—and paying for it economically—almost all of the projected increase in world carbon emissions comes from the developing world and is unaffected by carbon controls in the U.S. and Europe.

    Assumption #2: Implementing a carbon tax would buck historical precedent and remain revenue neutral. It is clear that some special interests stand to benefit from a carbon tax, no matter how well intentioned. Many are already staking out a share of the new revenue for special interests—before the carbon tax has even reached the Senate and House floors.

    Several politicians and think tanks have signaled their acceptance of a carbon tax in exchange for a reduction in corporate income taxes (which will never creep back up, right?) or in place of more burdensome environmental regulations (which the left will happily drop after so many years of work, right?). Sadly, even some conservatives are falling for this bait-and-switch.

    Bad assumptions lead to bad policy that either addresses symptoms rather than causes or does not address the problem at all and in fact creates a new one. Even if the tax somehow remained revenue neutral, a carbon tax ignores the federal spending (not revenue) problem and would certainly increase energy prices and sock the economy.

    America’s economy—from electricity and fuel to food, products, and services—depends on conventional energy, and when prices go up, the effects ripple throughout the entire economy. A carbon tax would add an unnecessary cost that would be passed on to consumers, no matter how creative Congress can be in mitigating the effects with compensation caveats. Americans don’t want to pay more for energy—regardless of which scientists they believe about global warming.

    Fossil fuels may make a convenient punching bag for politicians. But government-induced higher energy prices are bound to come swinging back and hammer the economy—along with everyday Americans.

    Posted in Energy, Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to The Carbon-Tax-Swap Fantasy

    1. Also, the Carbon tax would drive prices through the roof, on everything…almost everything we use is in someway traceable back to fossil fuel…especially coal. Almost every city's water supply is purified and filtered through activated carbon, aka: processed coil, and just in the past two years the price per metric ton has better than doubled. I know this, because I work for a company that produces the filtration media that is sold for these applications. It doesn't stop there, everything from Vaseline(petroleum jelly) to Coca-cola will start to become more and more expensive…do not be fooled, this is a VERY BAD idea, and will quickly impact our economy!!!

    2. don says:

      thats the entire strategy Jimi…to weaken and eventually flatten our economy…the dimwits on the left didnt realize the serious impact of re electing this person

    3. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Obama administration has "yet to endorse"! Who do you think proposed this redistribution plan in the first place? But have no fear, the "established Republicans", (who, by the way, gave us Dole, McCain, and Romney) are laying down and rolling over at Obama beckoned command. Just as 50% of Catholics caved and voted for Obama, the majorty of Republicans will cave even faster.

    4. Philip Haddad says:

      People should know that CO2 is NOT the cause of global warming. The heat emitted by the burning of fossil fuels, as well as that emitted by nuclear power, is the real cause, a fact totally overlooked by the Kyoto protocol.these scientists were geared to look for changes in atmospheric composition to explain climatic changes. They pounced on CO2 because it is known that CO2 absorbs infra-red radiation. They ignored the heat (which is why we burn fossil fuels) and destroyed their objectivity as scientists. They also ignored the fact that CO2 cools through photosynthesis, removing 5000 btus of energy for each pound of CO2 converted to trees. Our energy use has increased 800% in the last century and with it, the heat emitted. For example, in 2008 we used 16 terrawatts. equivalent to 50x10E16 btus, also equivalent to 500 Mount Saint Helen" eruptions. This amount is enough to raise the temperature by 0.17*F. Actual rise was one fourth that due to cooling provided by melting glaciers and through photosynthesis. Taxing heat instead of carbon will be no easier nor more effective, but this emphasis might stop the foolish talk of sequestering of carbon dioxide and promotion of nuclear energy. The U.S. issued permits for two more nuclear reactors this year. Advanced nuclear processes might be better than current technology, but they will still emit twice the total heat as their electrical output.

    5. Stirling says:

      Carbon Tax is just more of the "European Class Warfare" that has been imported to America. (Along with the indoctrination of our youth to belive the planet is in peril. ) It's shameful the propagada of the media turning our citizens against captialism as a result.

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