Is a Carbon Tax Market-Friendly?

The extent of environmental damage from man-made climate change is a debate in and of itself, but President Obama made it clear during his 2013 State of the Union address: there will be some form of government action during his second term. One of the most hotly debated energy proposals in Washington right now is a carbon tax.

"A carbon tax would do exactly what you would want it to do, which is to incorporate the damages to the environment into the prices we pay for all manner of goods and services," says Adele Morris of the Brookings Institution. Morris studies different carbon tax models and says this tax would be better than existing regulations under the Clean Air Act.

Reason magazine's Ronald Bailey agrees that a carefully constructed carbon tax could be beneficial if carbon emissions are affecting private property.

"In an ideal world, if carbon emissions were directly harming someone’s property, the government should step in and make sure they get compensated," Bailey says, "the problem is, the transaction cost of getting it through the court system is just too high. So maybe what you need is a carbon tax as a substitute for that process."

Bailey argues that a clean, simple carbon tax as a substitute for another tax might work. The government could also send a check to each household for its share of the tax. However, he fears that the government might end up using the tax to decrease the deficit instead, and that this tax could also negatively effect economic growth. 

"It will certainly slow things down in the sense that makes all fuels more expensive," says Bailey.

Food processing plants would be exceptionally hard hit by the tax because they require vast amounts of energy to produce their products. Nick Kastle, director of marketing for the Morning Star tomato processing company, says that this tax would just make everything more expensive for their customers.

"There is no secret bag of money that businesses have stashed away in a drawer. It’s business, you’re creating value, you’re deriving value from your resources," Kastle says, "the more you can limit the use of resources and create value is margin, that margin is the incentive that keeps businesses running effectively and doing everything they can."

So do the pros of a carbon tax outweigh the cons? Or vice versa?

About 7 minutes.

Written and produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Additional camera by Zach Weissmueller, Josh Swain and Todd Kranin.

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  • Ken Shultz||

    A carbon tax is market friendly...IF IF IF and only if it's used as a replacement for the income tax. If sales taxes are better than income taxes (and they in both practice and on libertarian principle), then the carbon tax is essentially a sales tax...and if that's the only way the left will support getting rid of the income tax, then I'm all in favor of a carbon tax.

    The important thing is to tie the implementation of a carbon tax to ridding ourselves of other forms of taxation. Would I rather pay a sales tax on carbon than a corporate tax, income tax, or capital gains tax?

    Hell yeah!

    Do I want to pay a carbon tax in addition to corporate, income and capital gains taxes?

    I'd rather eat mud.

  • Free Society||

    Yes and syphilis is a health friendly disease IF IF IF you contract it, instead of AIDS. That's where your logic gets you; syphilis.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, well, we have to deal with the world we're in--not the way the world should be.dd

    When there's a proposal on the table that might make the left agree to get rid of all coercive taxation, I'll be there to support it.

    If right now, though, there's a proposal on the table that might make the left agree to abandon more coercive and more damaging forms of taxation for less coercive and less damaging forms of taxation, I'll support that for now.

    Seriously, it's time to split the left. If they aren't willing to save the planet by way of a carbon tax--because it means they might have to give up on income redistribution by way of the income tax? Then they should stop calling themselves environmentalists and start calling themselves socialists.

    If we could split the environmentalist block off the socialist core of the Democratic Party, that would be great in all kinds of ways--and that's basically what I'm advocating. Their carbon tax won't do enough to save the planet unless they make it so high that they're going to have to slash almost every other form of taxation anyway. Want to save the planet? Now's your chance!

    Just get rid of the income tax and other coercive and destructive forms of taxation.

  • some guy||

    When there's a proposal on the table that might make the left agree to get rid of all coercive taxation, I'll be there to support it.

    Are you implying that a carbon tax wouldn't be coercive? All taxation is coercive. If it's not coercive we call it a fee. If it's retributive then we call it a penalty.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Sales taxes are less coercive.

    I can choose not to buy the item.

    I can choose to put in a geothermal heat pump or, better yet, I can heat my house by burning firewood (carbon neutral) in a heat stove--and pay no carbon tax.

    You can choose to live in a colder house and use more blankets at night.

    You don't have to pay a sales tax on carbon if you don't want to.

    You do have to pay income taxes; there's no way to opt out of that--unless you choose not to make any income. And forcing people to only have one free choice--not to make any income--that's damn coercive!

    So, from where I'm standing, income taxes look a lot more coercive to me.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I would say a carbon tax is more coercive than a plain old sales tax or flat rate income tax. The premise of taxing "carbon" is less honest.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The premise of taxing "carbon" is less honest."

    I don't see the carbon tax as dishonest--and if the income tax is honest, then I'm not sure that honesty is the best policy in this case.

    The idea that I owe the government something because I'm polluting the atmosphere is honest.

    The idea that I owe you money--because I earned it--is disgraceful regardless of whether it's honest.

    The income tax is naked socialist redistribution--and if so many people have become convinced that this is okay because the wealthy owe the poor for being wealthy?

    Then I'm not sure it's better for being honest.

    If Stalin had been honest with Russians and world about what was happening to political prisoners in the gulags, I don't think that would have made it any better at all.

  • F. Swemson||

    Ken Shultz writes:

    "The idea that I owe the government something because I'm polluting the atmosphere is honest."

    Perhaps, but CO2 is NOT a pollutant, it's an odorless, tasteless beneficial gas that plants need to consume in order to grow.

    Moreover, CO2 is NOT carbon... saying it is is like saying H2O is hydrogen.

    The entire idea of a carbon tax is based on the man made global warming hoax, which is a lie that's been around since the beginning of civilization.

    The earliest known examples typically involve primitive witch doctors and shamans telling their people that the change in climate is an indication that God was unhappy with their sinful ways. In a strange sort of way nothing’s really changed, as shown by the fact that the current AGW crowd has literally converted this madness into a religion for their followers.

    For more specific details see:

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/why.....be-killed/

    fs

  • Free Society||

    It's a simple question; "is a carbon tax market friendly"? The answer is an unequivocal no. Taxes are not market friendly, since you know, they're coercive taxes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some are more coercive than others.

    Some are more market friendly than others.

    Sales taxes are the most market friendly and least coercive of taxes, and pretending it's otherwise because no one's about to make taxes voluntary otherwise, that's absurd.

    If we got rid of the income tax and replaced it was a carbon tax, the U.S. would be about 50% more libertarian tomorrow. There is nothing more oppressive about our government than the income tax. It's more insidious than the drug war. It's worse than ObamaCare. It's worse than Social Security. If all we did was get rid of the income tax, we'd be half-way down the road to Libertopia already.

    If I don't report every penny I earn to the government, they can seize my property and throw me in jail? What do we have in place that's worse than that? What do we have in place that's more intrusive than that? That makes forced gun registration look candyass by comparison.

  • fish||

    Do I want to pay a carbon tax in addition to corporate, income and capital gains taxes?

    C'mon Ken those taxes fund vital services that people demand blah, blah blah....

    The carbon tax will be the endless stream of chocolate syrup on the already existing government tax sundae!

  • Ken Shultz||

    They won't be able to make it high enough to solve the problem (according to their own models) without crushing the economy or abandoning things like the income tax anyway.

    The socialists among them think that is the reason why people should learn to live without our current standard of living. But you and I know that as soon as oil prices rise and the economy goes into recession, all of a sudden everyone will completely forget that they care about the environment.

    Look at when Obama was really unpopular in his first term--I bet it was when oil prices spiked during the Gulf Spill. You drive up oil prices like that too high, and you're gonna have to give people something as good or better than that back--or they'll abandon your environmental program anyway.

    Making it so people (and employers) don't have to pay income taxes anymore is something that might make that work. Hell, I've been hoping we'd get rid of the income tax since I was a little kid and Reagan was president. People who don't want to get rid of the income tax if it means they have to agree to what amounts to a sales tax shouldn't call themselves free market capitalists either--they should call themselves cultural conservatives.

  • Ken Shultz||

    *Edit*

    People who don't want to get rid of the income tax if it means they have to agree to what amounts to a sales tax [on carbon emissions] shouldn't call themselves free market capitalists either--they should call themselves cultural conservatives.

  • Sonic Billy||

    They won't be able to make it high enough to solve the problem (according to their own models) without crushing the economy or abandoning things like the income tax anyway.

    The first part may or not be true, about not making it high enough, but let's look at the figures.
    US carbon emissions is what, 7,5 bn tonnes? Australian carbon tax is about 23$, Swiss is 34. Let's go for the aussie figure, and it (170bn-ish $) will replace about 15-20% of individual income tax. Every bit helps, but I suspect that benefits would be higher if the amount was used to cut payroll taxes, which have higher deadweight losses.

    sales tax ... they should call themselves cultural conservatives.

    Perhaps that's true on an aesthetic level, but by the facts, a sales tax to replace income taxes at the current level, however less invasive, would do untold damage to businesses and employment. Ad valorem taxes on sales affect different products wildly differently, depending on the elasticities of supply and demand. Some may fall on consumers, most of it will likely fall on producers and act as a tax on labour/gross profits. It's pure evil IMO.
    A per-tonne carbon tax isn't a sales tax, it's an excise tax, and only affects what is spent on fossil fuels, not labour, not capital. Economise on the former, and you get higher profits without paying higher taxes.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    " would do untold damage to businesses and employment"

    It would undo the untold damage to the economy and environment caused by the failure to internalize the externality created by carbon pollution.

    I'm not pretending that this will be some cost-free thing that amounts to a tax holiday for those of us who pay income taxes. It will require massive changes in lifestyles, choices of products, etc.

    But that should be seen as the cost of not having allowed the free market to work as it should, and allowing some costs to be forced onto people other than the producers.

  • Sonic Billy||

    I was talking about sales taxes, not carbon taxes. Carbon taxes aren't on businesses and employment.
    Yes, I'm sure it will have an effect on individual businesses. If the supposedly revenue neutral shift to carbon taxes causes your taxes to go up because you spend more on fuel than employees or capital, you loose, if not, you win.

  • Free Society||

    No one denies that humans have impact on the world around us and no denies that pollution is a real problem. But if it is the world-ending threat alarmists like to tell us, well then the market will solve it. Demand for cooler breezes and stable climate will drive human innovation as long as we keep coercion out of it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Perhaps that's true on an aesthetic level, but by the facts, a sales tax to replace income taxes at the current level, however less invasive, would do untold damage to businesses and employment."

    Dismantling central planning was devastating to East Germany's economy, too, after the wall came down. But they're better off in the long run for getting rid of all that inefficiency, aren't they?

    Yeah, H&R Block will go out of business, but just think of all that inefficiency and productive capacity we'll unlock when all those people...well, many of those people...end up doing something productive instead!

    Is there any doubt that the United States would have a more efficient economy if we didn't have to waste all that effort in tracking our income taxes? That's not productive activity.

    The businesses and people who make money now off of inefficiency NEED to get unemployed. Creative destruction sometimes creates unemployment--and if keeping inefficient activity alive were somehow a way to grow the economy, then the government hiring tons of people to be remarkably unproductive really would be part of the solution to our economic problems.

  • Sonic Billy||

    Yeah, H&R Block will go out of business, but just think of all that inefficiency and productive capacity we'll unlock when all those people...well, many of those people...end up doing something productive instead!

    Is there any doubt that the United States would have a more efficient economy if we didn't have to waste all that effort in tracking our income taxes? That's not productive activity.

    Americans are the only ones who actually need to spend money on tax-preparers for personal tax returns. Just simplify. Income tax isn't that expensive to collect. Look, I come from a country with one of the highest sales taxes in the world, they are by far the costliest to administer, income tax dwarfs in comparison.
    You obviously did not understand the whole point about supply and demand. If you want to tax "consumption", do it with a Bradford X Tax, not blanket percentages of sales, which is not a neutral tax.

  • grey||

    Carbon Tax, apply your lube in preparation of a new tax. Need citation for any tax repealed and replaced with a different tax, revenue neutral. We're asking the government to learn a new trick -repeal a tax, when it will likely revert to its unconscious reflex and simply create a new tax. Lube yourself, this will be your last warning.

  • SiliconDoc||

    I had to use 5,794 megatons of carbon black nanotube lube, so now I owe even more, and have to use another 5,000 megatons !

    When will this carbon copy rinse and repeat end ?

    Is my government in the black we are fair we'll pay you citizen your fair share check in the mail yet ?

    I think Ronald Bailey cracked his skull, because the government COULD NOT just send a check to everyone for their fair share.
    HE'S LOST IT, THE GOVERNMENT COULD NEVER DO IT, EVER, NOT EVER IN A BILLION YEARS EVER, THEY COULD NOT.

  • grey||

    The entire article seemed like an exercise in fiction writing with an absurd premise.

    Let's write a story about the government repealing a variety of taxes, the government will then institute a new tax and distribute the proceeds more fairly based, not on a random set redistribution polices, but based based on harm caused by pollutants. I'd say that's more fanciful than a story about a Werewolf and Vampire struggle.

  • juliusaugustus||

    Why do we need to replace the income tax? None of taxes you pay on income fund government services it all goes to the private stockholders of the federal reserve.

  • AAnderson||

    This was a good video that featured a fair amount of debate. Since we're dealing with energy, fossil fuels, costs, etc. it would be nice to see some work done on algae as a biofuel--a seemingly realistic alternative.

  • Brett L||

    Exxon just said they (and everyone else) are still 20 years away from viability. Just like they were 10 years ago. 20 years is that magic engineering number for, we know this shit works, we just can't figure out how it scales. I am not particularly hopeful. The fastest growing algae grow something like 10g/L/day biomass. About 10% of that is going to be refined, best case. To produce a gallon a day then takes 3275 L of water. Solar penetration is not more than 10cm, so you need 82 m^2 of surface area per gallon of diesel per day. Its mind boggling how much water it would take to fuel a train fleet. Assuming 1.5T ton-miles/year at 400 miles/ton/gal diesel, you get 3.75M gals of diesel, requiring a surface area of 307.5 square kilometers per year. Depending on how often you can harvest, this might go down by as much as a factor of 25 -- assuming you can harvest every 2 weeks.

  • Paul.||

    Why do people keep saying that "carbon is not priced" or more accurately, we need to apply a cost to "externalities".

    I argue we do pay for the externalities.

    We pay for fossil fuels, and the more fossil fuels that are used, the more things cost, because those fossil fuels are a price input into your goods. Having Diane Feinstein arbitrarily set a price for "externalities" doesn't fix this. It just adds a new cost unrelated to the use of the fossil fuels.

  • Ken Shultz||

    People on the left seem to notice externalities caused by things they don't like but ignore externalities associated with things they do like.

    How many jobs would it cost coal miners in West Virginia and Kentucky--if a significant carbon tax were implemented--before we put a big enough dent in climate change to save the first marginal polar bear?

    Somehow, they always seem to ignore the externalities to people's standard of living when they agitate against free trade, Wal*Mart and raising taxes, too.

  • sarcasmic||

    People on the left absolutely refuse to acknowledge externalities caused by government policy.

    If it isn't intended, it doesn't exist.

  • SiliconDoc||

    I need to collect tax from all the government's of the world, after all they have screwed up this planet with world wars for over a century, and that means that any alien neighbors that have been looking our direction or dropping by for secret visits over cow land have been harmed by this obviously scary and dangerous action to our fellows of the universe.

    The governments owe big time. This new tax, never paid before, will save humanity. I call it a universal war tax.

  • Free Society||

    There is no such thing as a market friendly tax.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some are worse than others.

    Taxing people's incomes is stupid destructive. Aside from the moral questions, it does things like make it more expensive for firms to hire unemployed people and pay them their take home pay.

    Sales taxes, on the other hand, let consumers choose their own level of taxation--where income taxes don't. If you can't afford the sales tax, you can choose not to buy that item. Letting the market make those taxation decisions at the point of sale is market friendly--like income taxes aren't.

    So, in that since, as compared to other forms of taxation, sales taxes are market more market friendly.

  • Free Society||

    So what if some are worse that others? We don't need to exchange one tax for another. What we need is to be taxed to an absolute bare minimum if we are to be taxed at all. You're engaging in the same fallacious logic that proclaims a need to 'pay for tax cuts'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "So what if some are worse that others? We don't need to exchange one tax for another."

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    If we can't make the tax system 50% better, we should do that--even if it doesn't make every part of it 100% libertarian.

    If a thing is what it is and not something else, then that means better is better.

  • Ken Shultz||

    *Edit*

    If we [can] make the tax system 50% better--we should do that.

  • Free Society||

    You won't do that by introducing new taxes. When's the last time there was a spending reduction deal taking place, where taxes are raised or introduced in exchange for tax cuts? Every single time we get the new taxes and every single time nothing gets cuts. You shouldn't masquerading as a realist with your argument, because it's entirely unrealistic while at the same time remaining antithetical to liberty.

  • CatoTheElder||

    There are a few certainties about a carbon tax. First, Congress will use it as just another tax. They may sell it as "revenue neutral", and for a short while it may have some feature that pushes it in that direction. But not for long. It's hopelessly naive to think that Congress will abide with a revenue-neutral tax. Second, it won't reduce carbon emissions by much unless it is painfully high. Third, it will hurt energy-intensive export industries like petrochemicals and kill jobs. Fourth, there will be a host of other unintended consequences.

    Finally, and most importantly, as awful and ineffective as a carbon tax may prove to be, it's a damn sight less destructive than cap 'n trade.

    The Brookings spokewoman expressed some concern that the carbon tax would be regressive, and that the scheme would have to be structured to have some progressive feature to offset its regressivity. But, if the tax simply takes taxes a good at time of purchase and effectively promises to rebate the tax, it's hard to see how that tax would reduce demand for that good (assuming people believed the promise to rebate.)

  • Brett L||

    I've seen a bunch of news on Aussie food distributors shutting down b/c their electricity cost went up by 600% when the carbon tax went into effect. Imagine trying to run your freezers just cost you 6x as much! Holy fuck.

  • SiliconDoc||

    Mooch looks at that, licks her chops and drools - only a few years left for her fatso proposals to show a chub deficit legacy and prove her queen of the national diet regime.

    What better way than to make the mundanes food supply prohibitively expensive.

  • Sonic Billy||

    If you rebate it as a check, or a reduction in other taxes, that you may or may not choose to spend on fuel, it would reduce demand.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Since there appears to be considerable evidence that temperature drives atmospheric carbon dioxide, instead of the other way around, and further that many of those who push the notion of man made global warming are lying swine, I'd say "No".

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Don't allow your contempt for the people on the left who use every possible 'crisis' as an excuse for more government intervention to blind you to the indisputable evidence that man-made emissions are causing the temperature to rise. Dispute the solution, dispute the consequences, but disputing the existence of climate change puts you in the same boat as the creationists and the flat earthers.

  • Free Society||

    No it doesn't. The anthropogenic climate change models ALL have a shelf life that lasts only until the inevitable implosion when it comes out that bad science, misleading assumptions and observer bias have foiled all hopes. If you look at climate history going back 10,000-100,000 years it indeed looks like something very precarious happens when humans industrialize. But if you look back 450,000 years of climate history you see absolutely nothing out of the ordinary fluctuations. Don't wear Calvin Coolidge's good name while you engage in a consensus-based theory of hockey sticks and call naysayers Young Earth Creationists.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Dispute the solution, dispute the consequences, but disputing the existence of climate change puts you in the same boat as the creationists and the flat earthers."

    Sometimes I think my fellow libertarians have become convinced that there are no libertarian solutions to pollution--so they want to pretend there isn't a problem.

    I maintain that there are libertarian solutions to problems like pollution, and, just like the libertarian solutions to other problems, they're ultimately superior to the socialist ones.

    And we should look at this as a huge opportunity. If they need to change the way they tax things in order to account for pollution and still keep our tax burden relatively low, then this is an excellent opportunity to make the rest of the economy more libertarian.

  • SiliconDoc||

    No temp increase in ten years.
    LOL
    No ten year Al gore exponential heat inclination rate, and human extinction, as his scientists testified to Congress more than a decade ago now.
    IT'S A BAD JOKE AND ONLY THE INSANE STILL BUY IT.

  • robc||

    No.

    I like these easy questions!

  • ||

    ""A carbon tax would do exactly what you would want it to do, which is to incorporate the damages to the environment into the prices we pay for all manner of goods and services,""

    Lying piece of shit. You think Uncle Sam is going to start paying out claims to forest groves and indigenous wildlife?

    ""In an ideal world, if carbon emissions were directly harming someone’s property, the government should step in and make sure they get compensated, I'd educate myself on the basic geological and physical properties that govern the natural world" Bailey says, "the problem is, the transaction cost of getting it through the court system reading scientific literature is just too high hard. So maybe what you I need is a carbon tax to take a freshman chemistry class as a substitute for that process Envirowhacko cliffnotes."

  • Libertarius||

    "Because you are polluting, you should pay me, because that will disincentivize your existence. And paying me because pollution will bring environmental justice unto the earth."

    /the state

    What a racket.

  • Free Society||

    statist justification circa 2020: "But without government, who will collect the carbon taxes?"

  • Ken Shultz||

    Moral hazard is real.

    I'm really not a fan of regulation. It generally doesn't take the relative value of things into consideration like a price mechanism and a market would--and it leaves too much up to the discretion of politicians.

    People respond to price signals--even better than regulation.

    What's your solution for things like pollution? I mean, I get sick of people dumping shit into the ocean where I swim, fish, and surf--but I don't own the ocean. So who sues the polluters for that? Are we at the mercy of government regulators?

    What's your non-coercive solution to pollution? Because I find the one where people pretend pollution isn't a problem to be ridiculous.

  • ||

    "What's your non-coercive solution to pollution? Because I find the one where people pretend pollution isn't a problem to be ridiculous."

    Sure, pollution is a problem. But pretending that atmospheric CO2 is a pollutant is asinine.

    "What's your non-coercive solution to pollution? Because I find the one where people pretend pollution isn't a problem to be ridiculous."

    Define pollution.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Sure, pollution is a problem. But pretending that atmospheric CO2 is a pollutant is asinine."

    Drinking water is good for you so drowning isn't really a problem?

    This is semantics.

    You want to play word games--why?

    Regardless of what you want to call it, carbon emissions are a problem (or not) whether you call it "pollution" or something else.

  • ||

    No, you're the one playing semantics. By your reasoning, everything is pollution and should be coercively regulated.

    atmospheric carbon dioxide is about as much a pollutant as water is.

  • ||

    Ken, sounds like you're not sure what you're talking about. The "well too much of anything is bad" argument has no place here. You can't get "too much CO2"in the atmosphere given earth's massive amounts of H2O acts as a carbon regulator.
    Why are we having this conversation anyways? Did you drink the kook aid, too?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Define pollution."

    1 : the action of polluting especially by environmental contamination with man-made waste; also : the condition of being polluted

    http://www.merriam-webster.com...../pollution

    That's not my definition; it's Merriam Webster's, but it'll work for these purposes--but a rose by any other name would still cause problems (or not).

  • ||

    In this case, it's not. So stop busy-bodying your way into the progressive mindset. Making a concerted effort to correct a nonexistent problem (despite what "climatologists" on the government dole told you) is fucking up the environment way worse than any greenhouse gas could.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So if this form of pollution--or any other form of pollution--were a real problem (in your mind), how would you propose to handle it?

    ...other than simply pretending that pollution isn't a problem, do you have any proposal to deal with any kind of pollution whatsoever?

  • ||

    try reading my comment next time, moron. fuck

  • Free Society||

    The solution is property rights. Enforce them, hold them sacred. We don't need statutory law to adjudicate disputes between polluters and it's victims. The cost burden of polluting someone else's property would be prohibitively expensive if we were using a proper Common Law approach to property rights.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    This will not stop China from building hundreds of coal plants. The best thing that could be done to slow the increase in CO2 production and turn it around would be to deregulate nuclear power to an extent.

    Nuclear power is all we have as a real alternative to fossil fuel. Deregulate nukes and let the free market work it out.

  • dalepen3@yahoo.com||

    I read somewhere that insurance against nuclear accidents is very expensive and only realistic when the government provides or pays for it. Do you know if this is true?

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    The government has from day one insured nuclear power. It has never been left to private insurance. The insurance policy is basically the industry as a whole giving the government money (about $12 billion currently) to use in case of an accident. The insurance mandate is known as the Price-Anderson Act. Duke Energy challenged the act in the 70's but the supreme court upheld it.

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  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "Is a carbon tax market friendly?"

    NO.

    Stop asking questions you already know the answer to, Reason writers.

  • ||

    Why? Without embracing climate alarmism, how will they get invited to progtard cocktail parties?

  • Skyhawk||

    Just like every other tax that was originally intended to go towards rectifying a problem or curtailing a behavior, it will simply end up in the general fund and be wasted on pork and government largesse.
    Fuck you, cut spending.

  • dalepen3@yahoo.com||

    Changes of most kinds have both positive and negative ramifications. Funny how we never hear about the positives of increased planet temperature, as if the precise average temperature in 1970 was be best possible and should not change up or down. Who says? There will be winners and losers to an increasing planet temperature.

    The temperature has not statistically changed for some 16 years. Do we really need a tax to prevent a probable non-problem?

    Don't hold your breath that this tax will simply replace another, so as to be revenue neutral. It will ultimately be an additional tax, raise prices and further impoverish us all.

    I propose a politician hot-air tax!

  • Tony||

    Considering the scale of the public threat, there is scarcely a positive action we could take that wouldn't be market-friendly.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    I gotta hand it to R. Bailey, he's a lonely guy in this neck of the ideological woods carrying water for A. Gore's Carbon Clowntology. For all the terabytes of offal the cult shits out per diem, I've never seen anybody try to value or perceive Clowntology through a libertarian lens - except Bailey.

    Most adherents to the cult seek solace of echo chambers, and do not tolerate intrusions from outsiders upsetting narratives - I got banned from Skeptical Science three posts in as an example. Never swore or anything once, I just got banned. The typical Skeptical Clowntologist would be in a corner, lampshade on their head, screaming for Mom, after one Clowntology thread around here.

    Bailey's too good for that crowd, we should stage an intervention.

  • Tony||

    If someone has a deeply principled respect for science, then trying to make him believe in anti-science is more likely to drive him away. How about you guys stop making fools of yourself by screaming that the earth is flat then expecting anyone to take you seriously on other issues?

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Science? A 'carbon tax' is a science is it? Or 'cap and trade?' Such social-engineering claptrap is the subject of this article, and no matter any real atmospheric science at hand is not science itself. Its where any science stops and Carbon Clowntology begins, actually.

    And that's why Bailey needs an intervention.

  • Free Society||

    You pretend statutory regulation is the only response, that of course being the case for any state-worshiping joke of a human-being like yourself.

  • grey||

    Do any unbiased sources exist on the Internet to look into man made climate change? I've plowed through a few, but the bias toward supporting an outcome is so obvious as to leave me none the wiser. Libtards especially have polluted Google, do any of those assholes have real jobs? Denialists have a smaller share. I understand the studies and science is disputed, but scientists must be debating somewhere in an open forum for laymen to see.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    I don't think there is such a place. You find echo chambers, a lot of papers, and a lot of raw data, and that's it. Obama's stupid claim is true, that the science is 'settled' - such to say minds are, too.

    And there is a prickliness that smells cultish among Believers seeing things like Gleick's forged memo and cult founder Al Gore's utter sell-out: They suffered no consequences for severe ethical and moral lapses vis-a-vis The Cause. That kind of behavior runs rampant in cloistered, reinforced social networks - in other words cults.

    The Denier bunch have their Cult too I am sure, but it is unknown, unfunded, and does not have input on Policy. Take Gleick for instance, he was forging memos to frame...The Heartland Institute? Nobody gave a shit about The Heartland Institute but him, I think.

    And you see that lack of a real, centralized opponent make Clowns grope for boogeymen - Exxon! Disney! Kochtopus! - yet can't even found who pilfered their emails in Climategate (they're amazing supercomputer scientists by the way). And those emails, pilfered or not, expose where that crowd likes to keep their 'open forum.'

  • SiliconDoc||

    One wonders how many exposed lies it will take for the blind followers to come out of their intense fear of human extinction.
    That is no exaggeration, that is exactly what we have been told.
    The tipping point has already tipped their minds into outer space.
    When you point out the decade+ of no warming, they are absolutely silent.
    When the gigantic lies are exposed over and over again anew, they scream science.
    Let's face it, this is their precious Apocalypse, and they can be THE JESUS and THE HOLY SPIRIT, and THE FATHER, if we'd only cooperate.

    Minority Report pales in comparison to these fruitcakes, and the biggest problem is every one of their computers has failed, they have arrived at the future crime scene, and found it lacked a criminal.
    ARREST EVERYONE is the answer.
    Talk about totalitarian nutjobs.

  • grey||

    All I could find is what you described with the 'echo' chamber climate change sites, some of them still playing old Al Gore videos with proven falsehoods and 'critical' dates we've passed.

    Then many articles about Gleick, and then one hardcore almost pro-pollution site, seriously, nothing to see here, move along people. We are having an impact, maybe inconsequential, perhaps consequential. All I know is, that I don't know and can't figure it out.

    The libtards have fucked this up. There are a lot of people that want to understand the science and start making personal decisions, have discussions, and make political decisions. The assholes.

  • grey||

    What about CFC's? I recall the science being solid, peer reviewed, and very little dust up about government bans. Not to mention it appeared there was extensive self compliance.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but if the science is settled, doesn't the follow up look a lot like what happened with CFCs?

  • SiliconDoc||

    I'm so glad we all have to pay through the nose for any imaginary or not "damage" the lefty lib powers that be claim before the mass human extinction they predicted while it failed to occur are still preventing from happening, because of course they own the entire world, therefore they have the right to charge everyone for using the world, that they own.

    THEY OWN THE WORLD, YOU MUST PAY TO USE IT.

  • Ura Fecal||

    No. The whole premise of the article is wrong. "Reason magazine's Ronald Bailey agrees that a carefully constructed carbon tax could be beneficial if carbon emissions are affecting private property." That's just it. Carbon emissions are NOT affecting private property. They are helping plants to grow faster, as well as ocean plankton, which is the base of the food chain.

    I love my carbon dioxide. Somebody at Wheason Magazine needs to go back to school.

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  • juliusaugustus||

    Or release suppressed technologies and remove all railroad regulations.

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  • christacampbell147||

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  • Chadwick||

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