Tag Archives: Carbon Tax Failure

CARBON TAX: Not Enough 2

Carbon Tax Failure: NOT Enough

There is a failure of the press to cover urgency of carbon tax. Carbon should not flow unpriced into the atmosphere, any more than you should be allowed to toss your garbage in the street. It makes no sense that the fossil fuel industry is allowed to put out their waste for free, using the atmosphere as an open sewer.

Nearly all of those decisions share a common, crucial element: they are shaped, by the relative prices of available energy choices. The only way to get enough change is to send a price signal so that everyone from investors to car buyers will change their behavior automatically:  a kind of perpetual motion machine. 

A straightforward plan is simply to tax carbon directly. Canada has introduced the gradual approach of a $10/ton of carbon emissions to finally get the ball rolling, while some of the provinces have elected to increase this tax to $30/ton.  In the meantime, Exxon has been planning for $50 a ton to make sure it won’t put a crimp in their business.  

Yes, carbon tax is inevitable but one thing stands in the way: PRICE POINT.  If we want to move the needle, we have to move the market. We need a top down message. A steadily rising tax on fossil fuels will send a strong price signal. A proposed carbon tax pending in the New York state legislature (A.B. 8372:  proposes to increase the tax gradually from $35 to $185 per ton.) 

Is that the only thing that needs to be done?

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