Archive for Friday, March 8, 2013

Letter: The bottom line

March 8, 2013


Controversy around whether a carbon tax should be introduced in the United States has begun to heat up after the comprehensive climate legislation was introduced in the Senate, which included, among other things, a carbon tax. Perhaps somewhat predictably, industries who base their profitability on the ability to use our atmosphere as a free sink for their pollution are objecting to such a measure, citing how it will affect their bottom line.

Hearing their arguments I couldn’t help but think back to the arguments against ending slavery, which opposed abolishment claiming that it would cripple agricultural industries whose profitability was based on the exploitation of slaves. The parallels are remarkable except the slave in this case is the atmosphere and our future is at stake.

Meanwhile, as the U.S. squabbles again over climate action, both South Africa and China have recently agreed to join the growing ranks of countries who are taxing carbon. Both are developing countries with much higher poverty levels, smaller GDPs, smaller historic emissions and far fewer emissions per capita, and yet they realize that they can no longer give free rein to polluters and are instead introducing such measures to enact a more just and sustainable paradigm of growth. How long will the world continue to wait for the U.S. to do likewise?


Paul R Getto 1 year, 1 month ago

If it gets too bad down the road, we can do what they did to alleviate the gas lines in the 70's. Have even and odd breathing days based on the last SSN number. Cut down air consumption and the population. I believe they have had oxygen stations for some years in Tokoyo. Might be a good new business opportunity. We rape our Mother for cheap electricity. Paybacks Are hell.


Armstrong 1 year, 1 month ago

The carbon tax is a sham, it's another way for the govt to dig their greedy, inept fingers into what they view as the bottomless pockets of Americas business.


Les Blevins 1 year, 1 month ago

Kansas’s renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) has come under attack through two bills: House Bill 2241 and Senate Bill 82. The renewable portfolio standard ensures that Kansans receive a certain percentage of renewable energy like wind and solar, culminating in 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. The House bill would have completely repealed the 20 percent benchmark. The Senate Bill would have delayed targets by two to four years. And all this in a state where Republicans have a supermajority in both chambers. There are 33 Democrats and 92 Republicans in the House; 8 Democrats and 32 Republicans in the Senate.

And we were also up against some giant forces. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—a coalition of conservative state legislators and corporations has teamed up with a number of fossil fuel backed groups including the Heartland Institute, the American Tradition Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and Americans for Tax Reform on a nation-wide attack on state RPS policies. Kansas was one of the priority states on their list, and repealing the Kansas RPS represented a critical first step to in their momentum building strategy. Operating alongside ALEC and the Heartland Institute, two other groups - the Beacon Hill Institute and the Kansas Policy Institute (KPI) - released a very poorly researched and highly inaccurate study concluding that the Renewable Portfolio Standard would lead to electricity prices increasing by 45 percent and the loss of more than 12,000 jobs.

If these groups want to learn about innovative new ways available to keep Kansas energy costs in line and jobs from being lost they should contact a certain Mr. Les Blevins of Lawrence who is a long term Kansas resident who has invented and developed new concept renewable energy technology that could create more permanent jobs in Kansas than wind, and can save Kansas consumers more on their energy bills than wind energy can which I understand will most likely be exported to consumers outside of Kansas.

Les Blevins, President Advanced Alternative Energy


woodscolt 1 year, 1 month ago

What is really important is not handing a debt to our "children" to have to pay off but it is ok to hand them an uninhabitable scorched earth to try to live on.


Water 1 year, 1 month ago

Stop providing tax breaks for dependents.
Require Energy Star labels on homes and commercial buildings.


Brock Masters 1 year, 1 month ago

Nice, when you don't have substance try to tie it to slavery or civil rights. It is a cheap and weak tactic that leads people to quickly dismiss any valid points you may actually have.

And what a crock that China is considered a developing nation.

Protecting our environment is extremely important. We must be stewards of our planet - it is our home. But, what we do must be meaningful and not just single out one group.

Want to put in place a carbon tax then make everyone pay - both those that produce products and those that use them. Why should the consumer get a pass?

But most importantly, make sure that their is data that can demonstrate the value of the tax. Show me how the tax will actually, not theoretically make a difference and then I will support it. Make it constructive and not just punitive.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

When all citizens in the USA that have respiratory problems can no longer live in the USA.

When corn and wheat can no longer be grown in Kansas.

When all perfectly manicured not natural green yards no longer can water their yards every day to soak in the toxic weed controls and to soak in the toxic chemical fertilizers.


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