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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Carbon tax

February 21, 2013

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To the editor:

President Obama recently challenged our nation to combat climate change. Lacking a “market-based solution” from Congress, he promised to take action on his own. Republican lawmakers who find the prospect of further government regulations on power plants unacceptable should consider backing a revenue-neutral tax on carbon.

Recent record heat, drought and numerous climate-related disasters that unfolded in 2012 make it clear we must take steps to reduce the rising CO2 levels linked to the warming of our planet. A revenue-neutral carbon fee could be just the solution we need.

Such a fee, gradually increasing in predictable increments, would provide the necessary market stimulus to encourage entrepreneurs to develop viable energy alternatives. This would result in new jobs. The public would be protected from shouldering the burden of increased energy costs by having the fee’s revenue returned directly to them. A border tariff imposed on goods from nations lacking similar carbon-pricing schemes would not only protect American energy producers, but also provide incentives for other nations to initiate policies to limit greenhouse emissions.

Exxon, Shell and BP have already expressed support for a price on carbon. Many conservative economists support a revenue-neutral carbon tax, including Art Laffer, economic adviser to President Reagan, and Greg Mankiw, economic adviser to President George W. Bush, and candidate Mitt Romney. With this kind of bipartisan support already in place, what’s holding Congress back?

It is time to demand Rep. Lynn Jenkins, and Sens. Roberts and Moran, take action on this issue.

Comments

jafs 1 year, 1 month ago

Doug,

I wasn't "asking for the science", I was asking for your well informed and scientifically literate answer to my question.

Apparently there isn't one, since I've gotten hugely different answers to it.

If the Princeton folks are right, we may have a chance, but if your most recent post is, I think we're doomed.

I looked at your links - most of them produced lots of data but no answer. Skeptical science had an article which stated we need to reduce CO2 emissions by a large amount within the next decade, but didn't specify how much. Looks like the Princeton plan is the outlier, and overly optimistic.

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jafs 1 year, 1 month ago

Something I've just been looking into is Terrapass - you can buy clean energy, and use that to "offset" your carbon emissions.

It's not ideal, of course, because it would really have to replace existing energy use, and not just add to it, but one can do it easily, and relatively inexpensively.

Those who are concerned about the environment probably already use less than the average person - in our case, it looks like it would cost about $200/yr. to zero out our emissions. I'm seriously considering it - TP has an A+ rating with the BBB, and uses outside monitoring to ensure that they're doing what they say they're doing.

That's a lot more feasible than investing in a solar electric system.

And, we can do it now, without waiting for the government or private utility companies to act intelligently.

There's an easy to use calculator on their website, where you can input your monthly average electric and gas bills, and calculate the emissions from your driving as well, to get your carbon footprint for the year.

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jafs 1 year, 1 month ago

To put the numbers into perspective, a gigaton is 1 billion tons, and a ton is about 2,000 pounds. So a 2 gigaton reduction is a 2 trillion pound reduction.

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jafs 1 year, 1 month ago

Despite my best efforts, I can't get a clear and consistent answer to the obvious and necessary question of how much and how quickly we need to cut emissions in order to avoid environmental catastrophe.

The answers I've gotten range from needing to get to net zero emissions in 25 years, through needing to cut emissions by 75% immediately and consistently for the next 37 years, to needing to stabilize emissions at current rates over the next 50 years.

These are obviously very different scenarios, and I'd say that the last one is the only one with even a chance of being implemented - we'll just have to hope that it's good enough.

Oh, and the middle one isn't even quite good enough - not only would we have to emit that over that time period, but then we'd have to stop emitting entirely - net zero in 50 years.

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Armstrong 1 year, 1 month ago

Just curious, is this going to be a permanent LTE ? Move on

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avarom 1 year, 1 month ago

A Bogus tax on Breathing......maybe we should all Hold Our Breathe.....and turn Blue for there is a lot of Hot Air Here!!

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George Lippencott 1 year, 1 month ago

More...

Throughout our discussion the only counter argument I have heard is that the current approach is not going fast enough. We must relatively rapidly increase the costs of energy (and everything else) so that we will collectively spend much more on carbon mediation - the amount unstated - until we get to a net zero generation of carbon. It is assumed the rest of the world will do the same in order to make the process work. If the pace of mediation is the only issue both proposed solutions can proceed as rapidly as we desire.

In summary, the two differences between the two approaches is that in my approach we do not redistribute income beyond what our current tax system does and we share resources so that no portion of the country bears an undue burden. I am not arguing against climate change. I am arguing against one proposed solution as to how to address it out of a play book of many options.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 1 month ago

CG…

Well we have been at this for about a week. I commend you on your skill as a debater. What started out as a discussion on the proposed carbon tax has degenerated into arguments about the reality of climate change. I suggest we go back to the topic as I agree that we are facing a changing climate.

Your argument appears to me to be that only through a carbon tax at the source can we address climate change. My argument is that there are many ways to address climate change that range from individual investment through various regulatory regimes to government funded research.

I propose a carbon tax to address carbon medication as past of a prioritized national program where we treat carbon generator through a priority process. This program would be funded from our normal income tax It could also include a tax on energy at the source but without a dividend. I do so because we know how to do that. Such a program normalizes the burden on our citizens so as not to punish portions of the country that are heavily carbon dependent. We would continue to use regulation/incentives to drive investment by commercial and private individuals to mediate their individual contributions. As the costs of energy rises the market will lead the way to wise investments. Now I researched the web and found no summary of existing investment. I argue that anecdotally we are probably spending from each of us at least the cost of a TV annually and I suspect a lot more when you include federal, state, local, public, commercial and private funds.

I reject a carbon tax based on the notion that we tax generators for generating the carbon and use the proceeds to hold harmless the poor. That process does nothing to actual mediate carbon. It is not revenue neutral but on the contrary hits hardest at the working middle class who will see little of the dividends after the cut for the poor and the administration of the program. As a government tax it is really not a market based solution. It will be manipulated as much or perhaps more than our current system. Since it provides no assistance it is punitive to those who have the biggest bill to address existing carbon dependency and adds to their costs. The bottom line is hat there will be winners and losers through the dividend concept so I leave it to the reader to consider how fast the tax might be manipulated.

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avarom 1 year, 1 month ago

Just Wait...... until you folks get the electronic meter to regulate your Electricity.....and your bill goes sky high from usage....you will finally see the true picture here......And......there sure is quite a bit of snow and rain here for a Global Warming..........Bogus Ponzi Scheme....Carbon Tax.......and bridge to sell is on it's way........lmao

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jafs 1 year, 1 month ago

Ok, I thought about it a little, and I guess that if our natural environment absorbs some CO2, that a net zero emission level might be possible.

For cg and others who are well informed on this, I wonder if there's any way to get some sort of idea how much that would be, let's say for those of us in Lawrence, KS? What level of per capita CO2 emissions would be a net zero here? And, are there any tools available to calculate our CO2 emissions, including electric, gas, driving, etc.?

I'm very much interested, not only to see how far off we might be, even though we use a lot less than most, but also what sort of change it would be for us all.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 1 month ago

Not denying it just challenging the pace you wish to set to address sit. I do not need a carboin tax to address carbon. WE are already doing so about as fast as our economies can handle it. To much faster and we will have significant economic disruption and considerable back lash.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 1 month ago

"If Westar replaces low cost coal"

There's no such thing as low-cost coal, and that's where your inability to understand this whole thing originates.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 1 month ago

BOZO says: "MoD: This tax is not revenue neutral and it will be manipulated just as all other taxes are."

This is a purely baseless assertion.

"MOD: It will raise the cost of everything "

No, it will only raise the cost of those items that have significant carbon inputs ...

MOD: I have already demonstrated the former with countless examples throughout this and previous threads. "the big lie told often enough becomes the truth". Keep on repeating the falsehood of revenue neutrality

MOD: Energy is where we generate a lot of carbon. No responsible economist would argue that increasing the cost of energy will not increase the cost of just about everything else.

If Westar replaces low cost coal with high cost wind energy those costs will be passed on to their rate payers. Consumers will demand larger salary increases to compensate. Businesses will pass both the rate increases and the salary increases on to all of us through their products. On and on until we have stability at a new higher cost level with many winners and losers.

There is no magic!!!

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 1 month ago

I think it would be unrealistic to say that alternatives will cost less than fossil fuels. It takes energy to produce energy; the ratio of energy in to energy out is a large factor in the cost. In that sense, there is very little that can compare favorably to digging coal out of the ground. (The last I looked wind energy was the next closest source.) That's comparing one energy source to another; when comparing energy to food or material goods, then differing scales of efficiency come into play and there isn't a simple answer.

However, the choice is not between more expensive energy and less expensive energy; it is between less expensive energy and more cost of climate related changes, and more expensive energy and less cost of climate changes. The frequency of multi-billion dollar damages, like crop failures and hurricanes, is on the increase; just check the re-insurer reports. (And yes, they already factored in more population and more development.).

The cost increase in energy is linear, or less than linear once economies of scale come into play. The cost of increasing climate damages is more than linear. It should be clear to anyone who understands math at all that mitigation is going to be cheaper than adaptation and suffering. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So, what to do? It is in our best interest to shift off of fossil fuels, but how to do that is the question. I don't trust people in government any more than anyone else. So, if the choice is between giving the government the authority to tax and letting the private sector decide how to spend, or giving the government the authority to tax and the authority to decide how to spend, I'd vote for giving the government less authority rather than more.

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toe 1 year, 1 month ago

We need to provide an incentive to reducing the number of people in half. It is the once solution that will limit carbon use. Reduce carbon use per person by 20% then increase population and you nullify the gain. Give tax credits for not having children instead of having more.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 1 month ago

Now the wife and I have only a few years left so the worst consequences of a "carbon tax" will not impact us. You on the other hand may well live to regret your demand for dedicated and expedited life style changes to combat what will likely happen anyway because most other portions of the world will be no more willing to accept the reduction in standard of living this process will drive than the 40 - 60% of us who will be negatively impacted in a big way by your grand scheme..

Good luck.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 1 month ago

Here's one way to look at this.

What if the government just gave checks to everyone, for an increasing amount over the next several years. (for the moment, let's ignore the effects on the deficit or potential inflationary effects.) What would they spend it on? I think we can all agree that they'd spend it on exactly the same things they currently spend money on.

But what if concurrent to getting that check, there was a corresponding increase in the cost of anything that causes carbon compounds to be released into the atmosphere, and, on average, that increase matches the amount received in their checks. Would people really not notice that increase? Would they really not react to that increase by choosing alternatives whose costs are not increasing? To contend that tax and dividend would have no effect on the consumption of fossil fuels means that people really would have to act totally obliviously to what's going on in their financial lives.

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avarom 1 year, 1 month ago

Its a Bogus Tax on Breathing....like the Flu Pandemic....that got over quick!

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George Lippencott 1 year, 1 month ago

Now if we will recall my arguments has not been to do nothing but to use existing tax processes to fund a centrally controlled fund to address the worst carbon generators by priority. Other solutions such a s regulations an d state and local and private investment would continue as the cost of energy increases because of regulatory and fact of life changes.

My concerns for the carbon tax as documented throughout this ythread 1. Punitive toward those who are heavy carbon users who have done nothing wrong 2. It does nothing by itself to mediate anything 3. It redistributes resources from the upper half of the middle class to the "poor" while holding the rich mostly harmless 4. It will increase the cost of almost everything in unpredictable ways 5. It is deceitfully sold as revenue neutral - which it can never be. 6. It sets no priorities. Low carbon emitters will get fixed before higher ones because the costs of the latter are left to the locals.

Over your many posts IMHO you have now mostly accepted all my points and now argue that the carbon tax is the only way to make our citizens "take their medicine" and as such must be administered by those who are our betters. Well that argument is best left to the voters.

I have made my points and you have made yours. We now seem to be falling back on the argument that the crisis is real and a carbon tax is the only way to fix it. Since I agree with the former and have made my points as to the lack of singleness of the latter I see no use in continuing this discussion.

Good luck on convincing many Kansans that they are evil and deserve to be punished.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 1 month ago

To jafs--

But you continually ignore the primary feature of the tax and dividend proposal-- it's human nature (as well as just plain mathematically mandated for anyone on a limited income) to choose lower-priced alternatives over higher-priced alternatives, and/or to take steps to reduce consumption of high-priced items.

And you still want to see tax and dividend as precluding the ability to take any other measures, rather than seeing it as complementary to all those measures you say you prefer.

As far as governmental investment, I don't see how tax and dividend would require much, if any, in the way of such investments. It could very easily use existing systems that have been in place for decades.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 1 month ago

More... You need to start thinking in terms of how much is left after whatever proposal you advocate is implemented. When the upper half of the middle class no longer has motivation to seek more income because what you have done moves them through a very progressive tax structure or into a regime where they get no refunds like Obama Care or the carbon tax you proposes as I understand it our economy will really tank.

Once again, the carbon tax as I understand it after reading all the sales pitches you have provided will fall most heavily on the upper half of the middle (we protect the poor), will fall most heavily on people that must spend the most to address the carbon they must mediate (like us) (it is designed to do so) and essentially punishes those who are carbon heavily dependent without regard to guilt (they are assumed guilty).

I can see all of that clearly and reject all of your arguments to the contrary. Worse, I see our beloved elected officials rapidly raiding the piggy bank for lord knows what and increasing the tax rate more rapidly than the current arguments suggest.

Because the carbon tax is a government imposed tax it is anything but a market based solution. Given that what we seek to do is a national priority it seem most inappropriate to make it exclusively market based. Like the highway trust funds we need a national set of resources that are directed by national priorities to address the worse offenders rather than force selected areas of the country to bear a disproportional cost. The government is in it either way so don’t keep arguing about how our leaders will mess it up – they will no matter what we do.

Now I am not arguing that all efforts be run through that tax. As now, all jurisdictions can and are addressing their own local and regional needs through the existing tax structure. To create a new tax focused only on carbon mediation is to remove all such efforts from the priority process. Schools will still have to compete in the normal pot which will increasingly be allocated to actually mediating our carbon problem while more and more resources are directed toward motivating that very distortion (carbon tax). It is no wonder that the potential losers (Republican and Democratic) rejected this power grab by the climate change lobby.

No matter how you argue there will be winners and losers and those of us here in Kansas working for a living will be disproportionately losers

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George Lippencott 1 year, 1 month ago

Doug County et al

Ok let us look at full return for 70%. The whole study is basically conjectured as to how the tax will affect the economy. If it is more impacting than suggested more people will be hit harder. Since the upper middle is about 50% and they comprise the set that will get little or no money back a variance of 10% or so absolutely supports my contention. About 40% of us will eat the cost of the carbon tax with Kansas brightly in the searchlight.

It is not that I have not read what you have posted but that I find those postings very optimistic in their assertions - there are no facts.

As with most legislation the carbon tax previously proposed left a lot to the rule making activity that follows passage. Whatever side of the political aisle you are on you must admit that the rule making is all too often not consistent with all of the sales pitches delivered before passage. So, excuse me if I remain eternally vigilant with respect to my government’s almost constant efforts to accrue power to IMHO ensure the election of those in power.

The carbon tax by the admission of your own study will fall hardest on the upper half of the middle class with the actually impact dependent on the local cost to mediate the carbon and the speed with which that mediation is implemented.

I simply prefer using our current tax system to raise revenue with the hope (probably in vain) that Mr. Obama will be able to return some level of progressiveness to that tax. There will be little progressiveness in the carbon tax as I understand it - the wealthy will be more than able to absorb the costs. The upper half of the middle is protected little if at all.

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Les Blevins 1 year, 1 month ago

Moderate writes; "If carbon is such a major problem then create a national program paid with a reallocation of our current taxes or new taxes if the taxpayers are convinced it is so critical. Use that program to fund remediation of the most critical carbon sources on a nation priority basis" and I for one agree with his suggestion. Lets do that and call the new tax a carbon tax which it would actually be.

I also agree with Merrill who wrote; It seems to me Les that USA companies who have moved their manufacturing facilities abroad should also pay the tariff if they want to sell their wares in the USA

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Centerville 1 year, 1 month ago

Have we become so brainwashed that we're falling for the specious notion that someone else paying more taxes will improve the weather?

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Armstrong 1 year, 1 month ago

Wonder why this wasn't done when The D's had control of both House and Senate ? Why is it a prioroty now Barry, you've had 4+ years to get it accomplished.

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toe 1 year, 1 month ago

Tax people and heavily tax new births. Only a reduction in carbon units will reduce carbon use.

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Dan Eyler 1 year, 1 month ago

Where can someone join this religion?

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P76 1 year, 1 month ago

Carbon tax is another way for the government to take your money. The tax is pointless and not necessary since Obama has been printing 85 billion dollars a month for some time now. Why does he need any taxes? He can print as much as he likes.

This hypothetical global warming anathema of theirs is akin to Groucho Marxs "have you stop beating your wife" routine.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 1 month ago

Here we go again – the magical carbon tax. We increase the costs of carbon and return that increase and everybody is whole and nasty carbon is eliminated. Come on - there is no free lunch.

The program is a massive income redistribution process, a job destroyer and a vindictive punishment for people like Kansans who are heavy carbon users through no fault of their own. It does little to actually mediate carbon use - that cost is on top of the carbon tax.

Why are we doing this; because people are already taxed to death so the proponents sell this “gift” as revenue neutral – no way. It will be a massive tax on our economy. You cannot charge people to discourage their use of carbon, ask them to use more expensive alternatives and not negatively impact all of us . If carbon is such a major problem then create a national program paid with a reallocation of our current taxes or new taxes if the taxpayers are convinced it is so critical. Use that program to fund remediation of the most critical carbon sources on a nation priority basis. Don’t create a massive new tax concept and lie about the consequences. A tax is a tax.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

"Sometimes, Fox News seems like a sitcom. "New Research Shows Wind Farms Cause Global Warming"1...Seriously?

But their twisting of facts is anything but a joke.

When their pundits say carbon dioxide "literally cannot cause global warming" because it doesn't "mix well in the atmosphere," it undermines urgent efforts to address the threat of climate change."

Union of Concerned Scientists.

We folks in the USA can replace old, dirty coal-fired power plants with cleaner, renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power. Coal and Nuke power are both oh so toxic

Cutting our nation's projected oil use in half within 20 years by way of cleaner cars, cleaner energy and educating legislators who become misinformed by way of special interest election bucks. Yep let's get on with it.

Supporting healthy food and farming instead of supporting subsidies for crops used to produce processed GMO foods and advocating for environmentally friendly farming method would be good for our wallets.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

A carbon tax seems more sensible by far than Cap and Trade....

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

" the border tariff is the way to insure China, India and all the others that wish to sell their wares in the United States take needed measures to do their part."

It seems to me Les that USA companies who have moved their manufacturing facilities abroad should also pay the tariff if they want to sell their wares in the USA.

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Liberty275 1 year, 1 month ago

It seems to me that people concerned with global warming can turn off their computers and remove that 400 watt load from the grid. If 10,000 people in Lawrence did that, we could save millions of kilowatt/hours of energy and stop the power plant from spewing as much carbon.

Come on people, take one for the team.

LOL. J/K, keep your Chinese-built box on so you can keep complaining. The world would not be so much fun without you.

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 1 month ago

A carbon tax will play into the hands of foreign competitors, leaving the United States at a further economic disadvantage. Cost of living will rise and the lower/middle class will suffer the greatest. More importantly, the scientific case has not been made connecting carbon emissions to climate change. The use of renewable fuels such as ethanol will deliver carbon emission reductions and create a new industry, while not imposing another tax that will do nothing hurt the economy. China is laughing at you right now Ms. Ryan.

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ThePilgrim 1 year, 1 month ago

First make a difference locally. Yes, I'm talking to you, hipster Lawrence resident on Mass Street, with your Patagonia shirt, Birkenstocks, drinking a free trade Starbucks with earbuds in your ears, gazing at your Chinese made iPhone, having just finished a vegetarian meal consisting of non-local food (because you cannot easily be a successful local-only vegetarian in the Midwest in the winter time, unless you seriously limit your choices), while the infamous Lawrence coal plant billows smoke in the background.

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Les Blevins 1 year, 1 month ago

Revenue-neutral means that little if any of the tax revenues raised by taxing carbon emissions would be retained by government. The vast majority of the revenues would be returned to the public, with, perhaps, a very small amount utilized to mitigate the otherwise negative impacts of carbon taxes on low-income energy users.

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usesomesense 1 year, 1 month ago

The unfortunate reality is that energy prices have been artificially low for far too long. Significantly increased energy costs result in an outcry by consumers for increases in efficiency (which should result in reduces emissions by consuming less fuel to get the same result) and the use of alternative (and hopefully sustainable) energy sources. Ethanol is a problem due to energy consumption to produce since fossil fuel's are artificially cheap (artificially because they aren't sustainable - take a look at Gold which has gone way up - and it doesn't even get truly consumed) Unfortunately the way the EPA measure emissions is relative to a gallon of gas - not how far the gallon will take the vehicle. If the government offered a 'prize' to the auto manufacturer that can produce the highest fuel efficiency and changed the way emissions are evaluated (we wouldn't want to eliminate an emissions standard as they would likely use a fuel additive or whatever that could be horrible to achieve the goal) we would see significantly improved efficiency that would result in overall lower emissions due to reduced consumption.
Domestic power production needs to be 'equalized' - taxation against coal/fossil fuel fired plants should subsidize solar, wind etc. while nuclear power (which is very efficient and far cleaner than coal, yet 'dirtier' than solar & wind) would be tax neutral.

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ThePilgrim 1 year, 1 month ago

There is no such thing as a Revenue neutral tax. Most of the effort to reach "neutrality" is actually smoke and mirrors. Take carbon credits, for example. Companies invest in a cover over a manure pile in South Africa and get carbon credits so that they can keep burning coal here. Frito Lay in Topeka burns their potato peelings and gets a tax credit. Does it really make an impact in climate change?

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Les Blevins 1 year, 1 month ago

I take it back. Two city officials have actually visited with me about my project. One is Mike Amyx and the other was the commissioner they called "Boog." So far as I know neither was able to take up the subject with the city manager and actually get any cooperation from him concerning a wider discussion of it.

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Les Blevins 1 year, 1 month ago

Since 1980 I've been developing new concept technology that is designed to empower what this discussion is talking about but Tom Sloan and every other elected official has not been in the least interested in learning about my theories and examining my technology which is for conversion of virtually all types of biomass, including fuel crop biomass, into electric power to be used to recharge EVs and into second generation biofuels like cellulosic ethanol. The fuel conversion system I propose could also use municipal trash as a feedstock and in this way be attractive to city managers who want to empower their towns and cities to cut costs. This idea seems to have escaped the radar of our own city manager and he has steadfastly refused to allow me to make a presentation to him and the mayor and the city attorney in his office.

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Les Blevins 1 year, 1 month ago

Reducing the amount of water consumed in the Western half of Kansas is mandatory. I think the only way to do that is to end irrigation of grain crops like corn that require a lot of water. I believe the way to do that is to make growing other types of crops that don't require irrigation viable and the way to do that is to grow deep rooted drought tolerant crops.

Douglas Kell of the University of Manchester says crops can play a crucial role in tackling climate change by absorbing more of mankind's rising greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. Doubling root depth to two meters would also make crops more drought resistant, improve soil structure and moisture, store more nutrients and reduce erosion, Kell says in the study published online in the Annals of Botany journal. Plants use carbon dioxide (CO2) and sunlight to grow and carbon is stored in the roots and leaves. Deeper and more bushy roots would store more carbon underground. Many crop varieties have root systems that don't extend beyond one meter, limiting their access to water during drought but ensuring rapid growth above ground and bumper yields when the weather is good. "Doubling root biomass to a nominal two meters is really the key issue, together with the longevity of the carbon they secrete and sequester below-ground," Kell says in the study. He said previous studies have doubted the benefits of deep roots locking away large amounts of carbon. But this was because the studies did not take soil measurements much below a meter. "What matters is not so much what is happening now as what might be achieved with suitable breeding of plants with deep and reasonably long-lived roots. Many such plants exist, but have not been bred for agriculture," he says. Kell calculated that even a 2 percent increase in soil carbon down to 2 meters could lead to an extra 100 tonnes of carbon per hectare if that carbon stays in the soil for at least two years.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 1 month ago

Here's the latest bill introduced to create a carbon tax: http://www.carbontax.org/blogarchives/2013/02/15/sanders-boxer-set-gold-standard-but-write-off-fiscal-potential-of-carbon-tax/

Looks like a border tariff would equalize any differentials created by the tax so other countries would not gain any advantage and in fact would be encouraged to introduce their own carbon tax in order to avoid the border tariff, if I'm reading this correctly.

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Les Blevins 1 year, 1 month ago

usesomesense is using some sense, wow, perhaps even Jenkins and Moran could too. If not perhaps we need to use some sense when election time rolls around again.

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usesomesense 1 year, 1 month ago

Unless we level the playing field with other countries with tariffs for non-compliant labor and environmental policies we're spinning our wheels. If we impose tariffs resulting in higher costs of imported goods from countries like China for exploiting workers and the environment and give opportunity for domestic production that can compete without exploiting workers and subject to environmental regulation. Funds from the tariff could be used to stimulate building and growth of domestic production businesses. Why is it that we'd be appalled if our 11 year old nephew was working 60 hours a week for $.20 per hour so he can help feed his family that lives in a small one room apartment, but it's fine to buy the pair of Nike's because I don't know that 11 year old kid and he's not in this country? When a huge chunk of the world's on fire a garden hose isn't that helpful. If the current environmental policies that we have were imposed in China and other countries we buy from there would be a tangible environmental impact. U.S. Citizens have become very accustomed to taxation and fees. Energy companies will pass on gradual fee increases and we'll just pay them and grumble about them. To bring about a real change requires real pain and pressure.

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poolside 1 year, 1 month ago

In Olathe this week, Moran refused to support a carbon tax. I heard him first hand.

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Les Blevins 1 year, 1 month ago

I believe the letter writer has stated the case for a carbon tax as well as anyone can in so few words, and I agree a carbon tax is exactly what is needed. The only thing I see that needs any further debate is how such a tax should be structured - and the border tariff is the way to insure China, India and all the others that wish to sell their wares in the United States take needed measures to do their part. We cannot fix the carbon emissions or any other major problem we face, including the Ogallala aquifer problem, without addressing the climate issue, which is at the top of all our problems including the trade deficit and national debt problems.

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weiser 1 year, 1 month ago

Will China, India , and South Korea do the same?

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