Carbon Tax

Carbon Dividends: Solve Man-Made Climate Change While Shrinking Government?

Carbon tax and dividend plan would eliminate all EPA carbon regulations, all clean energy subsidies, and all energy efficiency standards.

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The Climate Leadership Council, a group of conservative stalwarts, has just released its carbon dividends proposal as a way to address the man-made climate change problem. They accept that man-made global warming could become a significant problem for humanity later in this century. In order to mitigate that risk, they propose a carbon dividends plan that rests upon four pillars: (1) a gradually increasing carbon tax, (2) carbon dividends for all Americans, (3) border carbon tax adjustments, and (4) the elimination of all current top-down climate change regulations.

The CLC folks envision the carbon dividend plan as collecting a carbon tax beginning at about $40 per ton at the wellhead, minehead, or import terminal. The tax would gradually and predictably increase over time enabling innovators, businesses and consumers to take future energy prices into account as they make their plans. The CLC group calculates that the tax would initially garner $200 and $300 billion which they estimate would yield about $2,000 annually in dividends for a family of four. All of the tax proceeds would be distributed on an equal and quarterly basis via dividend checks, direct deposits or contributions to their individual retirement accounts. The CLC cites a Treasury Department estimate that the bottom 70 percent of Americans would come out ahead under their proposal. "Carbon dividends would increase the disposable income of the majority of Americans while disproportionately helping those struggling to make ends meet," they calculate.

Border adjustments to prevent free-riding would be made to goods imported from countries without comparable carbon taxes and rebates made to American exporters whose goods are subject to comparable foreign carbon taxes. Border adjustment proceeds would be added to the quarterly carbon dividends paid to Americans. The carbon tax and dividend program would entirely replace the EPA's current tangle of intrusive, burdensome, and expensive regulations on carbon emissions.

Specifically what regulations would be eliminated? The CLC group argues for getting rid of the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan that would have required electric power generation companies to cut their carbon dioxide emissions an average 30 percent by 2030. Adopting the carbon dividend proposal would also justify eliminating all green energy subsidies and tax preferences and all energy efficiency standards. In addition, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE) and state renewable energy portfolio standards could be dumped. As result, the CLC folks argue that their carbon dividend proposal will shrink the overall size of government and steamline the regulatory state.

Recognizing the vexed politics concerning climate change, the CLC folks note that all four pillars of their proposal must be adopted. They state:

For the elimination of heavy-handed climate regulations to withstand the test of time and not prove highly divisive, they must be replaced by a market-based alternative. Our policy is uniquely suited to building bipartisan and public support for a significant regulatory rollback. It is essential that the one-to-one relationship between carbon tax revenue and dividends be maintained as the plan's longevity, popularity and transparency all hinge on this. Allocating carbon tax proceeds to other purposes would undermine popular support for a gradually rising carbon tax and the broader rationale for far-reaching regulatory reductions.

According to The New York Times, CLC member James Baker who served as Reagan's Treasury Secretary is scheduled to discuss the plan today with Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, the senior adviser to the president, and Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, as well as Ivanka Trump.

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  1. Well then, what are we waiting for?

    1. The end of the quarter?

      1. You really think they’ll stop making quarters one day?

        1. Not only that, but they’ll tax the air.

          1. Taxes are “dividends”.

            Well by all means then, taxes should be at least 500% of income.

            That would be a huge dividend.

  2. Fuck your carbon tax.

    1. Almost as libertarian as an oxygen tax.

      1. “an oxygen tax.”

        Well now that’s an interesting idea. /progressive

      2. What about a sun tax? Didn’t someone already suggest that?

        1. +1 Bastiat

      3. Almost as libertarian as an oxygen tax.

        Its usage-based!

      4. SIV has a large, two-shoes-and-eight-talons carbon footprint.

    2. ^^THIS^^

      Once again Bailey goes all Pigou on us.

      1. It’s a kinder, gentler form of fascism.

    1. All of the tax proceeds would be distributed on an equal and quarterly basis via dividend checks, direct deposits or contributions to their individual retirement accounts.

      So, basically just welfare. Fuck these guys. In the ass. With broken bottles. Coated with cyanide.

  3. Thats nice but what effect would this have on the climate? Which is never said. And this will end up as a bait n switch like always….those things wont be eliminated and we will get the taxes with no dividend

    Pass

    1. It’ll be… uh… less for plants to breathe?

      1. Wait! Plants are people too! They demand more carbon! Get those signs ready!

        1. I thought they craved electrolytes?

          1. +1 Brawndo!

          2. Gatorade tax!

  4. If i get a dividend why would i use less energy

    1. as: The idea is that people react to the prices in front of them and immediately economize on energy. Certainly, some will use their $2,000 dividends to buy more energy, but they will also squander it on other consumption that does not boost greenhouse gas emissions.

      1. Thanks. But it says quarterly. I can see yearly but quarterly nope.

        1. Amsoc, don’t you see how this will give you more freedom to spend your guaranteed universal income as you see fit?

      2. they will also squander it on other consumption that does not boost greenhouse gas emissions

        1. That is a poor choice of words. Whether they squander it or not is subject to their own value judgments, yes?

        2. What consumption doesn’t involve energy? Extraction, manufacture, transportation… all energy-dependent. Shifting from direct use of energy to indirect doesn’t change the fact that energy is being consumed.

        2a. The prices of other things will go up, too. Given that the rebate amount is directly tied to the tax, one can reason that the increase of everything will be roughly equal to the rebate, ceteris paribus. Best case is that consumption patterns don’t really change. Worst case is that people are forced to consume less overall because of disproportionately higher prices for everything (no market is perfectly efficient).

        1. Yeah, but some green cronies are gonna get filthy rich. What’s not to like?

          1. The three Bs…

            Booze, bitchez, and blow?

            1. I’d like to get a couple of ladies for that job.

        2. Yea good point in order to consume usually requires energy

        3. k: “squander” was a failed attempt at humor – Yes, everything involves the use of energy, but the idea is that folks shift their consumption toward goods and services that are less carbon (energy) intensive in the face of higher energy prices. For example, people might use their dividends to buy more LED lights, hybrid cars, and the like which would cut down on their overall energy consumption.

          1. People are already doing that Ron. They just aren’t doing it to the level watermelons think they should.

            And you, better than most, should know that a lot of the so called greener products on the market are no such thing *cough*batteries for electric cars and the electricity being generated by coal or natgas plants*cough*.

            *Full disclosure, I have moved to designing all of my buildings with LED lights, and we’ve always striven to use the most efficient HVAC systems.

          2. I replaced every light in my house with LEDs. Because I like them and a 60 watt equivalent bulb uses 6 watts of power and lasts for years. There is no way that artificially raising the price of energy would effect that decision one way or other. I like the lights, they make my electric bill less, (that’s true whether it’s $1000 or $100 dollars), and I don’t like replacing bulbs.

            The government moving around money is a really bad idea, especially considering their track record on things like that.

            1. I actually burned myself the other night replacing a CFL.

          3. The problem is that the goal might be achieved not by benign shifts in consumption patterns but in a lowering of overall consumption, driven by the higher prices. Hence why market forces and not taxes should drive the process; people will adapt as and when the prices favor adaptation. The same arguments apply here as apply to any attempt to shift consumption patterns to some “favorable” end; it comes out of the consumer’s pocket. Yes, the rebate is supposed to put money back in their pockets, but TANSTAAFL and all that.

            1. Of course there is already a ton of mucking around with the free market. This is a way to get rid of all those other regulations

              1. Of course there is already a ton of mucking around with the free market. This is a way to get rid of all those other regulations

                Not all, only those focused on carbon. Other pollution regulations and other kinds of regulations would still be around.

            2. Here in TN the Governor, and others are agitating to raise the gasoline tax. One of their stated reasons is – wait for it- declining revenue due to improved fuel economy.

          4. $2,000 annually in dividends for a family of four. All of the tax proceeds would be distributed on an equal and quarterly basis via dividend checks, direct deposits or contributions to their individual retirement accounts.

            Can I use the dividend to pay off my Obamacare fine tax penalty?

        4. in answer to your 2a this is a benifit since it will allow the government to forever manipulate the populaces buying abilities

      3. but they will also squander it on other consumption that does not boost greenhouse gas emissions.

        That is an awful thing to say. Seriously, who the hell is some egghead like you to call what other people do with their money “squandering”. You should think about that statement and consider taking it back. You should also consider what the fact that you said it, even accidentally, says about your attitude towards other people and your character.

        1. You wouldn’t recognize sarcasm if it umped out and posted on your posterior.

          1. What is sarcastic about it? Smug is not sarcastic.

          2. SR&C: Thank you for recognizing my feeble attempt at sarcasm. Clearly I should just stick to my usual role as being the straight man around here.

            1. “my usual role as being the straight man around here.”

              You don’t have to talk about the sexual preferences of the Reason staff, Ron. We’re all ok with whatever that is. It’s just the excessive cocktail parties that we worry about.

            2. Leave the sarcasm to us professionals Ron.

      4. $2,000 dividends to buy more energy

        Or stuff that requires energy to produce.

      5. There’s not a single fucking thing you can buy that doesn’t involve emitting greenhouse gases to acquire raw materials, produce products, and distribute products to you.

        1. Isn’t pussy grabbing carbon neutral?

          1. I’d have to taste it to be able to decide.

      6. …but they will also squander it on other consumption that does not boost greenhouse gas emissions.

        Are hookers and blow carbon neutral?

      7. Bailey, how is this not social engineering.

        1. Bailey likes it.

          Bailey is a libertarian.

          Thus it is NOT social engineering.

          Now if you (Bailey) can just get Trump on board.

      8. All of the tax proceeds would be distributed on an equal and quarterly basis via dividend checks, direct deposits or contributions to their individual retirement accounts.

        Ron, it’s just welfare in green garb. It’s absolutely anti-libertarian. Not to mention anti-science.

        And how ’bout all that carbon in those biofuels? And the carbon needed to make solar panels? and the carbon wasted when birds get diced by windmills? And a million other things?

        If you support this, you are insane, and not a libertarian of any type.

        1. Marcus Aurelius: “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

        2. Assume some kind of welfare is inevitable. What would it look like in a “perfect” world?

  5. I’m not getting it. So, a carbon tax is imposed, only to be rebated back to people in a redistributive manner. What is that supposed to do?

    1. Fuck over your enemies and dump wealth on your friends.

      1. Bingo Kinnath. What could possibly go wrong with a system that taxes everyone and then gives rebates to the “deserving”?

        1. It looks like everybody gets the rebates. But this plan would never make it through Congress as it stands.

          1. If everyone gets the rebates, then the resulting shift in the demand curve would mean the taxes didn’t reduce energy consumption. It is a fucking shell game to make us poorer and these assholes rich.

            1. Green welfare by spreading the greenbacks.

            2. and for the republicans to attempt to get the lefties of their back and think they are not deniers but the left will never let the right play there games

              1. Bingo! Number 1

            3. Economically, that makes no sense. The tax is what affects the demand curve, and the impact on the demand curve is what justifies eliminating regulations. The rebates just exist to keep it from feeding the state.

              The chief flaw isn’t that; the atmosphere is almost unavoidably a commons, so any taxes charged on any sort of pollution ought to be redistributed as dividends — government taking it makes as much sense as government seizing the proceeds of a lawsuit against someone who dumped trash in your yard.

              The chief flaw is that there is no legitimate pricing mechanism. It would be difficult to solve the free riding problems.

      2. Of course, but what would be the publically-stated purpose?

        I guess it’s to force people to spend more for energy while giving back the extra money they spent to spend on other things. Of course some people get more money back than they spent.

        A way to differentially raise the price of some disfavored product. Oooo, that idea knows no bounds! **Politicians’ eyes grow wide**

        1. Don’t forget the thousands of sybil servants needed to police the fucking thing. This is among the worst ideas I’ve ever seen supported on these pages. (Shikha excluded)

    2. Ya couldnt i just count on this couple k to offset.

      And in order to bring in the revenue projected dont ya need to be using fossil fuels?

    3. Pay off all the virtuous people who live in cities – penalize those country fucks who voted for Trump.

      1. “Pay off all the virtuous people who live in cities – penalize those country fucks who voted for Trump.”

        Bonus!

    4. To offset the increased energy costs… thus defeating the entire purpose. I must admit, it’s impressive how this wasn’t thought through.

    5. It’s usually called money laundering, except when the government does it. Maybe it’s the latest penaltax?

    6. I understand the economic supposition … The cost of energy goes up, therefore people (and businesses, etc) will find ways to economize on energy usage. Since everyone gets the same “rebate” it net benefits the people who use the least energy the most.

      That’s not to say I like the proposal, just that I understand the thinking behind it.

  6. Border adjustments to prevent free-riding would be made to goods imported from countries without comparable carbon taxes and rebates made to American exporters whose goods are subject to comparable foreign carbon taxes.

    They want to adjust the borders? Won’t that mean at least a threat of war?
    Oh, they mean tariffs? Tariffs enforced to compensate for regulation stifling economy at home? Isn’t that what Trump is threatening?

    “Border adjustments”.

    1. Isn’t that what Trump is threatening?

      Ah, but you see, PZ, he wants tariffs for impure and ignoble motives. Because he’s icky.

      These tariffs are going to be for noble and pure motives. Because Gaia.

      So, you see, they’re like, totally different.

  7. The ice age is ending. No government tax program will change that.

    1. Nowhere near that. Ice age is defined as permanent ice at the poles. For most of earth’s history that was not the case or normal. Antarctica and even the north pole are a long, long ways away from being ice free.

      1. Exactly. It baffles me that people ignore the fact that we are in a colder than average era, and then they proceed to freak out about a little warming. Those who do acknowledge this fact wave it away by stating that the rate of warming is unprecedented, but since our precise temperature data set is so paltry compared to the imprecise data set there is no way of knowing if this is true. Further, since it is estimated that the sea is actually rising at a slower rate than in past centuries, this proposition could very well be false.

        1. +1 marcott.

  8. I’ll be honest with you, Ron. I always secretly wish that every time I get money from the government the cost of everything I need to buy would go up to offset it. Thanks for showing that my dream may soon come true.

    1. Hey just be glad you are the guy re-filling the hole,and not the guy digging the hole. And don’t forget the vig.

  9. The entire point of taxing carbon is to raise the price of carbon based energy to an artificially high rate so that people use less of it. If it doesn’t raise the price of carbon based energy, it doesn’t accomplish its goal.

    That means that energy will become artificially expensive. That means we are poorer. I don’t care how much you shuffle the money around, there is no escaping that. We are only as rich as the amount of goods and services we produce. And if you make the energy necessary to produce those things artificially expensive, you will make producing them more expensive and the country poorer. It is really that simple.

    These people can go to hell. No one should have to pay a dime in lost income or standard of living to support this God damned cult.

    1. Ahem.

      “DENIER!!!!!!!!”

      1. He denies being a denier.

        1. Well I’ll deny that.

    2. We are only as rich as the amount of goods and services we produce.

      But we’ll be richer in heart.

      1. What if I have no heart?

        1. Don’t worry, the wizard can help you.

          1. I think there may be a brain problem involved as well.

    3. The price of every fucking thing people buy includes the cost of energy. A carbon tax will make every fucking thing purchased by every fucking person in the country cost more. The working poor will be fucked the hardest.

      Ron, stop talking about this shit.

      1. But the working poor could ask the master in Washington for a rebate. And that would fix everything.

        1. Instead of a rebate we get a reprobate.

          What is a little spelling difference among friends?

      2. The poor get sacrificed on the altar of AGW all the time. Really, it’s their sole utility in the grand plan to save the world through wealth redistribution.

      3. Kinnath, it doesnt just include the cost of energy, the majority of the cost of everything is the cost of the energy it takes to produce it. The majority.

        I went to a stone yard a couple of years ago to buy some flagstone for a sidewalk. I was wandering around their yard looking at stuff when the owner approached me. He started giving me the prices of the different stones. I corrected him: “No, these rocks are free.”

        Him – “What?”

        Me – “These rocks don’t cost anything. They are free. The price is the cost of the gasoline it takes to haul them here to your yard.”

        Him – *laughing* “Yeah, you are exactly right.”

        Me – “So you aren’t an Obama voter, are you?”

        Him – *bald head begins flushing red, turns and spits* “Have you decided which one you want?”

        1. the majority of the cost of everything is the cost of the energy it takes to produce it.

          I thought I was clear about that. I need to work on my language skills I guess.

        2. the majority of the cost of everything is the cost of the energy

          I have to disagree. The only thing you pay for is other peoples time. Everything else is free.

      4. Ron, stop talking about this shit as if it makes any sense at all. You should be putting forward the libertarian and scientific case for why this is actually in the interest of only the government and a few cronies.

    4. Well, the cult isn’t the people who are going to get rich off this. The cult are the useful idiots that show up at global warming events and stand outside freezing their asses off.

    5. That means we are poorer. I don’t care how much you shuffle the money around, there is no escaping that.

      Especially since every time government shuffles money around, about 2/3 of it ends up disappearing into the bureaucratic maw (with some just gone in leakage through mal-allocation of inputs).

    6. I’m not arguing with anything you said. I’m just pointing out that the counterargument would be that

      1) Greenhouse gases are causing climate change that is/will impose costs on people who didn’t agree to bear them.
      2) The effects of climate change will make/are making us poorer.
      3) The atmosphere is a commons for which property rights are difficult to define/enforce.
      4) Some form of carbon tax or a similar scheme makes energy more expensive but this is just internalizing the costs that are currently being imposed on everyone.

      Trust me, I know you may not agree with 1 or 2, but that is the argument. And I think *if* you accept 1 and 2, then 3 and 4 follow from libertarian/classically liberal understanding of property rights and markets.

      1. And since both 1 and 2 are complete BS, 3 and 4 are pure idiocy.

        More co2 is increasing crop yields and vegetation worldwide, making everyone richer.

    7. ” That means we are poorer.”

      Under these sorts of regimes the more disposable income you have the less poorer you will become.

      So those that have, gets. Funny how Bailey keeps falling for these things.

  10. “Border adjustments to prevent free-riding would be made to goods imported from countries without comparable carbon taxes and rebates made to American exporters whose goods are subject to comparable foreign carbon taxes.”

    I have it on good authority that instituting border adjustment taxes will kill everyone and will double kill poor people. This is known

    1. “World ends tonight! Women and minorities most affected!”

      1. Minorities kilt first!

    2. I seem to recall Reason having a cow over this proposal when Trump made it for the purpose of making American industry more competitive. But somehow protectionism isn’t really protectionism when its done in the name of Gaia and the Flying Climate Monster.

  11. Assumes facts not in evidence.

  12. A carbon tax is doing something to do something without knowing if it actually does anything thing to address the problem.

    Here is a better solution:

    No carbon tax and do all 4 pillars.

    You are more likely to end up with both a tax and still intact 4 pillars than an either or like proppsed

  13. Tax revenues being paid directly to the people? Madness! Who will feather the beds of federal regulators?

  14. Border adjustments to prevent free-riding would be made to goods imported from countries without comparable carbon taxes and rebates made to American exporters whose goods are subject to comparable foreign carbon taxes.

    Ronald, did you misspell ‘tariffs’?

    1. “Tariffs” are what Trump wants. “Border adjustments” are completely different somehow.

      1. Oh! Whew, I was worried there for a minute. Thanks!

  15. Stealing out of one pocket while stuffing money in the other. Smart.

    1. No, no – this is robbing Peter and then writing a bad check to Paul.

      1. I’m sorry, the term Social Security was already taken.

  16. Border adjustments to prevent free-riding would be made to goods imported from countries without comparable carbon taxes and rebates made to American exporters whose goods are subject to comparable foreign carbon taxes.

    And that would make all goods, foreign and domestic, artificially expensive so that people consume less of them and thus offend the flying climate monster less by adopting less consumptive ways.

    Reason spends article after article shitting its pants over Trump proposing fairly mild forms of protectionism and tariffs and then endorse this with a straight face. Is there nothing reason won’t endorse just so long as it comes wrapped in “Global Warming ” or “tolerance”?

    1. Eh, Bailey’s just reporting on it. He might support it but he didn’t editorialize in the article. We shouldn’t complain about reporting, except insofar as it’s inaccurate.

      1. He should have editorialized on it. They didn’t just report Trump’s proposals. Why are they giving this a straight and serious hearing?

        1. I dunno, but Ron is engaging arguments in the comments. Maybe he’ll post more analysis later.

      2. Ron respects his audience well enough not to think he has to spoonfeed us his thoughts. God knows why.

      3. Bailey has expressed strong support for a carbon tax to halt AGW in the past. He needs to atone.

  17. What affect would this proposal have on the climate?

      1. Are you saying the climate is just faking its sickness?

  18. So Reason spends day after day worrying about Trump’s cronyism and then gives serious hearing to a proposed system whereby everyone in the country is taxed and the taxes are then rebated to those the government considers “deserving”. Let that sink in for a moment.

    1. There is the trade-off of the elimination of regulation and the bureaucracy that goes along with it. It is a convoluted way to go about it and you’re correct about the faulty economic analysis of the tax/rebate scheme, but no one is considering the benefit of regulation elimination.

      The whole scheme is BS, of course. If implemented as described, you know that within 15 years the ‘rebate’ will be re-purposed to ‘green energy investment’, the regulations will return with a change in administration, and the corporate tax will remain.

      1. regulations never go away even when supplanted with something else. without the regulations we would never know if either system is working. See regulations built into the system to eliminate them

  19. “Carbon dividends would increase the disposable income of the majority of Americans while disproportionately helping those struggling to make ends meet,” they calculate.

    Excellent. There’s a new SUV I’ve got my eye on.

    1. Either the dividends cancel out the increased price of energy and thus don’t reduce demand making the entire thing pointless or they don’t, in which case everyone is poorer.

  20. So bottom 70 percent are better off huh? But they are a large volume who uses vehicle, home energy along with buying products. If they are better off wont they just consume more thus using more energy?

    1. Just be happy you’re not in the 30% we’ve chosen to be losers and shut up.

    2. No. The rebate would be effectively consumed by the increase in energy cost.

  21. This is exactly what the US needs: a bad ‘solution’ to a non-existent problem.

    1. We have to replace Obamacare with something utterly retarded!

  22. This is a STUPID idea. It might have made some sense 10 years ago, but if you implemented it now the inevitable would happen.

    Solar and Wind plus batteries would now be the economically cheapest source
    Battery powered cars would now be the economically cheapest source
    There would be a decade long transition as people replaced existing stocks
    Everyone would get a big check that would then start rapidly declining
    The result would be an outcry to find funds to prop up the check, because now a big check is expected.
    Either huge new taxes are introduced or the remaining fossil fuel companies are protected as cash cows.

    1. Solar and Wind plus batteries would now be the economically cheapest source
      Battery powered cars would now be the economically cheapest source

      Meaning we are much poorer and are standard of living much lower.

      1. “Meaning we are much poorer and are standard of living much lower.”

        Yes, temporarily. Solar/wind plus energy storage are trending towards cheaper than fossil fuels. so this particular negative aspect will be temporary.

        1. Solar/wind plus energy storage are trending towards cheaper than fossil fuels

          That… is not accurate. Yes, the costs are trending downward… somewhat. But that doesn’t mean they will end up cheaper than fossil fuels. The predictive power of a price trend is very poor.

          1. once fossil fuels are subplanted and the equipment relegated to the scrap heap wind and solar will go through the roof.

            1. I can pay for a new roof with my rebate?

              Mexico is going to love this.

        2. Yes, temporarily. Solar/wind plus energy storage are trending towards cheaper than fossil fuels. so this particular negative aspect will be temporary.

          No it wouldn’t. Just because they are getting cheaper doesn’t mean they will get cheaper forever. And no amount of reduction in cost is going to make up for the fact that they are not steady producers of energy. You can’t build a reliable grip that is necessary for modern life that loses half of its power on a cloudy or windless day.

          Solar and wind are not going to replace fossil fuels, not now or ever. We will get fusion power before we get that.

          1. I think you missed that I specified solar/wind plus energy storage. And I don’t expect it be a perfect replacement.

            However, it’s close enough now that I think it’s baked in without adding a cockamamie wealth redistribution scheme like the topic of this article.

            Just to be clear, I think this idea is a STUPID idea. However, I think we are on the cusp of developing a cost effective renewable electricity production system. Which makes this idea doubly stupid, because it throws all the existing systems economic foundation into complete chaos.

            1. I think you missed that I specified solar/wind plus energy storage. And I don’t expect it be a perfect replacement.

              Which is another way of saying it is an inadequate replacement that will make us poor.

              1. John, they only make us poor if they are uneconomical. I’m saying that they either are or very soon will be economical without subsidies.

                Yes, the trend lines might come to a stop in the next 3 months, but if you haven’t been paying attention, they are right at the cusp of pricing coal out of the market. And new nuclear is a non-starter.

                1. No they are not. If they’re so close why did investmemt grind to a halt in new wind prior to renewing the wind ptc of .02/kwh? None of those cost comparisons from eia include the cost of spinning reserve or the impact of varying electrical production on grid stability. So called renewables are still not dispatchable and are nowhere close to becoming so.

                  1. “If they’re so close why did investmemt grind to a halt in new wind prior to renewing the wind ptc of .02/kwh?”

                    Because you have to apply before you start construction and everyone likes free money. Why wouldn’t you delay the start of construction a few weeks if you expect the Feds to renew it?

                    Here’s the current PTC schedule:

                    The phase-down for wind facilities is described as a percentage reduction in the tax credit amount described above:

                    For wind facilities commencing construction in 2017, the PTC amount is reduced by 20%
                    For wind facilities commencing construction in 2018, the PTC amount is reduced by 40%
                    For wind facilities commencing construction in 2019, the PTC amount is reduced by 60%

                    https://goo.gl/QDSFVR

                    It’s being phased out this year and it should be phased out.

                    “So called renewables are still not dispatchable and are nowhere close to becoming so.”

                    Yes, this is correct. Solar/wind have to be paired with energy storage. Without some kind of energy storage, they can’t go above 20-30% grid penetration without reducing grid stability.

                2. Yes, the trend lines might come to a stop in the next 3 months, but if you haven’t been paying attention, they are right at the cusp of pricing coal out of the market.

                  They may price coal out of the market, but coal is expensive due to the regulations on coal facilities. There’s no way “renewables” beat nat-gas unless there’s a revolution in storage technology, which I’ve seen no evidence of (if you have, please provide a link, as I’d be very interested to read more about it). Barring the ability to store massive amounts of energy, every “renewable” power plant will have to have a nearly equivalent “non-renewable” power plant built as a back-up, which will keep the wind and solar price point perpetually above natural gas (unless of course there’s a shortage of that, but such a thing isn’t in any way imminent).

                  1. “Barring the ability to store massive amounts of energy, every “renewable” power plant will have to have a nearly equivalent “non-renewable” power plant built as a back-up, which will keep the wind and solar price point perpetually above natural gas”

                    Actually you are thinking about it exactly backwards. You’re caught in a mental bubble. Instead of thinking about renewable as a replacement for natural gas, consider that it might be a fuel savings for a natural gas plant.

                    Build a natural gas plant on a pipeline near a wind turbine field. The plant runs off cheap but not free natural gas. When the wind starts blowing, switch over to wind power, when it tapers off switch back to natural gas.

                    If the total cost of wind power is cheaper than the cost of the fuel for a natural gas plant, it will be economical.

                    Granted, there are some basic inefficiencies in getting a natural gas plant up to it’s highest efficiency from a cold start (so you probably have to keep it idling) but that’s not going to effect the total numbers very much.

                    1. Holy crap. You start out complaining about fuel costs and at the end you dismiss them as mere “idling.” No, just no. Gas turbines still take minutes to spool up. Your renewables can fluctuate in seconds. That means real spinning reserve which means you are burning fuel, incurring wear on the turbines and making $0 on the energy they produce. And that doesn’t strictly include the depreciation on the capital that you have to put in place just as a backup. And the equation gets even uglier for thermal baseload which takes hours to cycle.

                      It’s a bad plan, period. Humanity suffered for millenia picking up the scraps of green energy with windmills, waterwheels, and animals/grass. Why in the name of all that is holy would we intentionally eant to go back to surviving on the whim of that gaia bitch?

                3. Only because the government has already tacked such high costs onto the coal plants.

                  Neither solar nor wind is anywhere close to being able to power the world. It would need a quantum leap in storage technology plus worldwide grids (and just think of the cost of building those) to take care of all the places where the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow on a regular basis. That’s a cost that keeps being ignored in the “green” world. Plus if you think it’s a problem that we’re dependant on other countries for oil … just wait until the deserts are the location of the world’s main power source

                  Since that isn’t likely to happen the next thing that has to be done is to have backup fossil fuel generation capability which means you’re not only paying for the solar/wind but also for the backup plant that would have been built without the solar/wind to begin with.

                  An industrial civilization needs 99.9% dependable energy always available. It can’t depend on the weather.

                  I also don’t know why nuclear would be a non-starter. It’s the most compact, dependable, non polluting energy source technology we have available. Plus the new thorium reactor designs are fail safe … power has to be up for them to keep operating. Power goes down, so does the reactor.

            2. “I think you missed that I specified solar/wind plus energy storage”

              Make that solar/wind plus energy storage and also plus transmission line costs as well.

              A lot of places that are best suited for solar and wind energy are not the same places as where most of the people live who need to use electricity. That will necessitate building longer transmission lines to get the power where it’s needed to be used than is the case for fossil fuel or nuclear power plants that can be built close to where the power consumers are.

            3. I think you missed that I specified solar/wind plus energy storage.

              I always love solutions that require something that doesn’t exist. People who propose batteries have no concept of the magnitude of the energy involved.

        3. Wind turbines need tons (almost literally) of rare earth metal. Wind is its own eco-disaster.

          1. Doesn’t that involve raping mother Gaia. The ecos assured me that they’re against that.

            1. This is more like a douche. There’s just a little leftover radioactive thorium from the monazite, but it’s natural radiation. Totally organic.

              1. Good thing it’s not that GMO radiation.

            2. Yep, and I mean really bad… massive open pit mining bad, crushing tons of rock for ounces of material bad…. Mother Gaia will be sore for millenia

          2. “Wind turbines need tons (almost literally) of rare earth metal. Wind is its own eco-disaster.”

            That’s just environmentalist scare tactics. Wind turbines do require permanent magnets. But so do lots of other devices. Obviously if the cost becomes to high, then either a replacement will be found, or wind power will price itself out of the market. But I’ll let the free market decide that.

            1. Not, it’s not. Besides the murdered birds, they’re mostly mined in China, which isn’t real green.

              1. “they’re mostly mined in China, which isn’t real green.”

                True, but I’m not convinced we should stop buying things from China for just that reason.

                “Besides the murdered birds,”

                Millions of birds die every year from flying into tall buildings. Should we stop building them too?

                1. Just pointing out that any ‘environmental’ argument for wind dies of its own contradictions. If wind was a super efficient source of power, I’d be for it.

                2. True, but I’m not convinced we should stop buying things from China for just that reason.

                  If that article is accurate, and we are basically exporting our ecological disasters (real ones) there, then I’m convinced.

            2. They don’t require it and certainly not rare earth pm’s but it is by far the most efficient solution. Unfortunately the mines are pretty dirty. I did a rough calculation a while ago that said to just electrify the US transportation fleet using wind turbines would require tripling current world rare earth production for the next 20 years. And that’s just the US.

          3. There’s not enough excess capacity of world-wide steel production to replace the energy produced by a single nuclear electric plant with that produced by windmills.

            1. “There’s not enough excess capacity of world-wide steel production to replace the energy produced by a single nuclear electric plant with that produced by windmills.”

              LOL, that’s not even close to true.

        4. Capital cost is only part of the picture. Because of their diffusivity solar and wind require a lot of labor to install and/or maintain. That alone will keep them more expensive than dense thermal baseload let alone cheap, dense, and fast CCGT natural gas. And that neglects the cost of sponning reserve. Batteries are hideously expensive and low capacity (even flow batteries) such that they actually exacerbate the cost differential.

          Don’t buy into thw snake oil that only talks about panel or turbine prices in isolation.

          1. “Because of their diffusivity solar and wind require a lot of labor to install and/or maintain.”

            Yes on the installation but no on the maintenance. They have the same maintenance costs as coal plants and way cheaper than nuclear.

            http://www.power-technology.co…..t-4417756/

            1. Yes on the maintenance. Read your own link. Solar is more expensive than nat gas turbines (the cheapest) and on-shore wind is more expensive than the cheapest coal. Typing on a phone is a pain in the ass which is why I used and/or. Solar requires less maintenance but more installation. Wind required less installation but more maintenance.

              1. The maintenance costs are:

                Gas turbine ($20 per kW)
                Large-scale solar photovoltaic ($25 per kW)
                Subcritical coal power ($43 per kW)
                Onshore wind power ($46 per kW)
                Nuclear power ($198 per kW)

                So, yes your correct, but so what. Wind power is a little bit more expensive than coal. But a wind power plant doesn’t buy fuel. Nor does a solar plant. The fuel savings overwhelm any trivial differences in maintenance.

                The real debate is the capital cost for wind/solar (plus storage) versus the capital cost for fossil fuel (plus ongoing fuel costs).

                Currently fossil fuels have a slight edge when you subtract the subsidies. But if the current trend lines last another 3 years, renewables will dominate.

                1. Aside from the point that I was correct in the first place and you failed to refute that, I guess there was no point. Fossil fuels don’t have a slight edge, they have a massive edge, or to put it another way witches don’t weigh the same as ducks. Wind and solar costs do NOT include their backup costs including spinning reserve and the gross inefficiencies associated with that. If you want expensive energy look no further than germany where they are now having to subsidize thermal plant because wind and solar have spread their disasteous economics to the entire grid. It’s truly the worst of both worlds. And even denmark which can rely on the only cost effective grid storage technology, hydro, has THE most expensive energy in western europe.

                2. Gas turbine ($20 per kW)
                  Large-scale solar photovoltaic ($25 per kW)
                  Subcritical coal power ($43 per kW)
                  Onshore wind power ($46 per kW)
                  Nuclear power ($198 per kW)

                  Comparing the maintenance cost using nameplate capacity is beyond dumb. For example, wind generates on average 30% of its nameplate capacity while fossil fuel plants are close to 99% making the wind maintenance cost 3 times higher per unit of energy produced.

                  Solar is worse. On average there is only 12 hours of sunlight so double the maintenance cost per unit of energy produced. When the sun is up the output increases for 6 hours then decreases for 6 hours. Assuming no clouds ever, the capacity is only about 35% of nameplate. That alone triples your maintenance cost per unit of energy produced.

                  The panel rating is a pulse test and therefore the nameplate rating is optimistic. The reason for the pulse test is as the panel heats up the efficiency drops, quite significantly. The pulse test makes comparison to different panels easier but is in no way indicative of real world performance. For panels I have looked at in real world applications a 20% reduction in nameplate capacity wouldn’t be unusual.

                  The numbers presented are dubious in that they are based not on actual energy produced.

        5. Cheaper how? Per watt produced? I don’t think so.

          I am paying $1.98/gal for gasoline.

          1. Also, I heard all of these same bullshit arguments before Spain, Germany etc went down this road. They crashed and burned. So will we.

            1. They crashed and burned because the whole industry was set up on massive government subsidies. The US renewable industry has subsidies, but nowhere near what the Germans were padding the economics with.

              For the record, I think that the Federal renewable energy subsidies should be phased out. But, I still believe that the industry will survive it. The cost of solar and wind has dropped more over the last 10 years than the amount of the subsidies. The industry should be weaned off the teat.

              1. But did you know that healthcare is free in Germany? For only 50% of your gross earnings.

              2. They failed because they received more government money?

                Well ok then.

    2. Also, in case it’s not obvious, the transition from gas to electric cars would be artificially hastened leading to a lot of inefficient production and discarding of still valuable capital in the form of vehicle stock and the equipment needed to produce them.

      This would be offset to some degree, by consumers buying more energy efficient devices so that they can use some of their ‘rebate’ check on other goods.

      However, the effects would be highly disproportionate (as pointed out above), with rural Americans facing steeply higher costs than urban dwellers. So the net effect would transfer wealth from poor rural areas to rich urban areas.

      1. This would be offset to some degree, by consumers buying more energy efficient devices so that they can use some of their ‘rebate’ check on other goods.

        We would throw away tens of billions of dollars worth of useful and needed assets. This is pure insanity.

        1. We would throw away tens of billions of dollars worth of useful and needed assets. This is pure insanity.

          Probably hundreds of billions of dollars at a minimum. A trillion wouldn’t surprise me. What’s the value of all the coal/natural gas plants in the entire country?

        2. We would throw away tens of billions of dollars worth of useful and needed assets. This is pure insanity.

          Yeah, but it would be awesome for the cronies who would be paid to replace those tens of TRILLIONS of dollars worth of assets. (and those cronies give out campaign contributions).

        3. See also “cash for clunkers”.

        4. See also “cash for clunkers”.

      2. So the net effect would transfer wealth from poor rural areas to rich urban areas.

        It might help lower real estate prices in DC though, once these gov’t regulatory agencies are abolished. If this does happen, hopefully it won’t be before I sell my house.

    3. It might have made some sense 10 years ago

      why?

    4. Solar and Wind plus batteries would now be the economically cheapest source

      Only because you’ve made an actually cheaper source more expensive through taxation. If a cheaper method is available you have made everyone poorer.

      1. Agreed, that’s part of why I called it a STUPID idea.

  23. The left wont let the epa go away

  24. Carbon tax

    Take your taxes and shove them where the sun don’t shine.

  25. Will this be like how in 1990 cali was supposed to have 50 percent electric cars now?

  26. “Carbon tax and dividend plan would eliminate all EPA carbon regulations, all clean energy subsidies, and all energy efficiency standards.”

    It’s actually a lot easier than that, Ron. You just eliminate all of those things and don’t replace it with anything, especially a huge money laundering scheme. I mean, Trump already has a denier at the EPA. How hard can this be?

    1. Exactly. Fuck these idiots. Elections have consequences. We will get rid of those things and these assholes can like it.

    2. This. Fuck those assholes and their stupid schemes.

    3. Ok, so the econazis are going to throw a hissy. They’re going to throw a hissy anyway. They’ll find something. What difference does it make?

  27. I like that plan, except the part about the tax.

  28. Carbon tax and dividend plan would eliminate all EPA carbon regulations, all clean energy subsidies, and all energy efficiency standards.

    How about we just eliminate all EPA carbon regulations, all clean energy subsidies, and all energy efficiency standards and see what happens?

    In Tennessee we are currently arguing over a new Gas Tax at the pump to pay for roads and schools. Whilst I disagree with the tax in principle at least I can see a tangible benefit for them taking more of my money. Clean Energy Subsidies for Electric cars allows people to fuck me twice- once in that I’m paying taxes for people to buy electric cars and then again in that I’m paying higher taxes to repair the roads they are using without paying any tax at the pump.

    Subsidies, regulations and efficiency standards as implemented by the Government are disastrous for a number of reasons but most importantly in that they are inefficient (if not complete failures) at achieving the intended result, which is lowering our “carbon footprint”. None of the proposals put forth would do so much as even DENT the Carbon footprint of India or China so why am I electing to get fucked twice for no reason?

    At least buy me dinner!

    1. In Tennessee we are currently arguing over a new Gas Tax at the pump to pay for roads

      Ok. Shame they have to raise it, but it’s going to roads, which is what a gas tax is for.

      and schools.

      Goddammit. Every fucking time. They just can’t help themselves.

      1. ” but it’s going to roads, which is what a gas tax is for.”

        It sure isn’t just what the federal gas tax is for.

        20% is carved out mass transit (boondoggles) and it’s also used for bike paths, greenways and a bunch of other stuff besides roads and bridges.

        1. I mean what how a gas tax is touted, as a way to pay for the roads that the gas-guzzling cars use. It’s one of the only taxes that, to me, is acceptable, as long as it’s only used to automobile infrastructure. My post was basically complaining about the fact that they want to just put it all in one big pile for everyone to grab at.

    2. Polar bears and penguins will drown and we’ll all die. Al Gore said so. I say we call their bluff.

      1. Have you ever met a polar bear? It is a fucking nightmare come to life. Have you ever met a penguin? They frequently produce copious amounts of the stinkiest shit on the planet.

        Yeah, let’s call their bluff.

      2. Yeah and penguins are not cute and cuddly either, they’ll bite your face off.

        1. That was you? Well next time, keep away from the nest.

          1. I didn’t say that penguins and penguin eggs aren’t tasty. Next time, I’m bringing a bigger stick!

    3. “In Tennessee we are currently arguing over a new Gas Tax at the pump to pay for roads and schools. … I’m paying higher taxes to repair the roads they are using without paying any tax at the pump.”

      I believe the new Tax Plan actually implements a long over due Usage tax on electric vehicles. Currently Electric vehicles get to use the “HOV” lane and they don’t pay a dime for the road system at all.

      “a new $100-a-year fee on electric vehicles”
      http://nashvillepublicradio.or…..s#stream/0

      1. In 2015 we used up $682,500 in a couple months subsidizing the purchase of electric cars. When it went dry the rebate was removed. The most recent number I can find is as of 2014 there were approximately 2730 PEV’s registered in Tennessee. If that number doubled then maybe the $100 per car fee in the new bill will end up paying for the $682K we blew in 2015. But it will do shit all to pay for the roads.

        1. Those are two different issues. Just because the state blew a lot of money in 2015 subsidizing yuppies doesn’t have anything to do with implementing an electric vehicle fee in 2017.

          The state should charge electric vehicles a fee equivalent to what a similar weight gas vehicle would pay in gas taxes (and remove the HOV lane privilege).

          1. Oh I agree, the state should charge electric vehicles a fee equivalent to what a similar weight gas vehicle would pay in gas taxes (and remove the HOV lane privilege).

            My point was that $100 per EV doesn’t come close to what we’ve already spent to put these cars on the roads in the first place. It may be more justifiable for new cars coming online, but between what we spend federally on direct subsidies for EV’s combined with what we did at the state level in terms of direct subsidies the idea that $100 per EV should cover it is laughable.

  29. Exactly how is a carbon tax a “free market alternative”?

    Taxes are levied by government’s which have a legal monopoly on force. There is nothing “free market” about it.

    Also how can they (or anyone else) proved they have come up with the proper tax rate for carbon? There is no one who can empirically prove what the net negative economic externality is for carbon emission – or even if a net negative exists at all.

    1. “Free market” tests well in the focus groups.

      So you’ve got THAT going for you.

  30. It’s amazing that true believers in AGW/ACC come up with ideas to ameliorate AGW directly – James Hansen (among others) advocates increased nuclear power, and Bjorn Lomborg had a host of ideas. Thing is, none of them would create a massive slush fund – unlike almost all the ‘solutions’ proposed by political types.

    Interesting, that.

    1. Come on. These guys mean well. Where is Megan McArdle to come on here and explain to us what good people these guys are and how they mean well? They would never see the hundreds of billions of dollars in tax money and accompanying rebates as a way to exert power and enrich themselves. They are good people. They mean well.

      1. +1 Intentions > results

  31. Carbon dividends would increase the disposable income of the majority of Americans while disproportionately helping those struggling to make ends meet

    Nevermind that everything they are buying that is made from or delivered by fossil fuels (umm…everything) will go up in price to account for this tax.

    These fucking idiots who think they can raise costs in a vacuum…

  32. IFFF IFFF IFFF everything were as rosy as they want, if you could dump the EPA regs and CAFE mileage regs and all that other horseshit, this is the big new weasel worded gotcha{

    Border adjustments to prevent free-riding would be made to goods imported from countries without comparable carbon taxes and rebates made to American exporters whose goods are subject to comparable foreign carbon taxes.

    Politicians would jump on that like Christie on a donut.

    1. Look at the bright side, a system of punitive taxes on goods from some countries but not from others wouldn’t create a huge black market and all of the crime and disorder that comes from it or anything.

      Now instead of selling contraband crack and meth, the Mexican drug gangs can get into the business of smuggling TVs from countries that don’t have a carbon tax. Yeah, that ought to work out well.

      God I loath these people. You cannot hate them enough.

  33. For the elimination of heavy-handed climate regulations to withstand the test of time and not prove highly divisive, they must be replaced by a market-based alternative.

    Next prog administration – Carbon Tax AND heavy-handed climate regulations.

    These people who think you can introduce one source of revenue to replace another in government and not expect to have government eventually say “both, please”. SMDH

  34. Allow me to suggest that if there were a persuasive case being made that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are the primary driver of a clearly occurring catastrophic warming event, we wouldn’t need to force people to reduce emissions.

    1. It’s almost our last chance. Again.

    2. I dont know. I mean, is there anything more stereotypical than a crack head? And yet, every day, people try crack for the first time.

      1. And I know lots of people who have used crack casually and never become addicts.

        I personally do a lot to curb my individual fossil fuel use, because I’m a better-safe-than-sorry type of guy who’s seen enough evidence that this might be a problem. I’ve also never tried crack for similar reasons.

        When you say something like “100% of people who drink arsenic die really quickly,” and we all observe it to be true, you don’t need a law telling people not to drink arsenic.

        When you say something like “don’t try crack or you’ll become a crack head” when I personally know lots of people who have done just that and aren’t crack heads, well now we’ve got a credibility problem.

        By the same token, when you say “don’t use fossil fuels because they are causing global warming” when you can’t show a convincing correlation between CO2 concentrations and GMT, you have a credibility problem.

        We actually simply can’t yet say whether CO2 emissions are causing CAGW, because we just don’t know yet. We’ll know better in 10-15 years. This is why discussion about how the government is to go about forcing people to stop using fossil fuels is a couple of decades premature.

        1. I know I’m going to get jumped on, but there’s no question we have had *some* effect on the climate with CO? emissions. The actual questions are how much and what harm will it actually do and how much ameliorations would cost. Those questions aren’t anywhere near answered.

  35. In order to mitigate that risk, they propose a carbon dividends plan that rests upon four pillars…

    And we’ll get to Number 4 eventually, we promise.

  36. Tel me more!
    Tell me more!
    Like, did he have a car?

  37. /Lurk OFF

    This article makes me consider adding a new Iron Law:

    There is no solution to a non-existent problem.

    /Lurk ON

    1. But that doesn’t mean people can’t get rich selling a solution.

    2. But, there are always solutions in search of problems.

      1. Just as there are always “saviors” in search of imaginary monsters to slay.

    3. Just came back for some snark?

    4. Wait, so you’re still giving the website clicks, but just not commenting? Really sending a message there.

      1. Sort of like telling the government “I’ll keep paying taxes, but I’m not going to express my criticisms of you anymore! Take THAT!”

    5. When you have regulated all that moves, works, and produces it becomes time to regulate the intangible, Fear of the end. just like Christianity fear the intangible, the rapture.

      1. I’d pay for rapture.

        In fact I may have in the 60s.

  38. Assuming AGW is real, the USA cannot reverse AGW by merely taxing the shit out of its own citizens.

    The only solution is for the USA to nuke about half the population of the global to dramatically reduce global demand for energy. Even this is only a temporary solution.

    1. And the nuclear winter thing will help out a lot. Maybe we don’t even need the tax then?

      1. I have been saying for more than a decade that nuclear winter is the solution to AGW.

        1. And the left has assured that we’re going to get it with Trump as POTUS, so why the worry about a tax?

        2. Sagan was wrong. The effect won’t be very pronounced or lengthy.

          1. The we keep nuking. Which means we have to build more of them. Win/win.

            1. Might as well just start using orion lifters for heavy orbital payloads… You may be on to something here.

          2. It doesn’t have to be long or pronounced. Just measurable. So that schedule can be created to keep enough reflectors in the atmosphere to balance the absorbers (green house gases).

            Of course, reducing head count globally would attack the source of the problem.

    2. no, no, I’ve got a better idea — our clever science types could find some volcano of appropriate size and nuke that. For the price of one nuke, we could have global cooling, population reduction, and dangerous volcano neutered all at once!

      think bigger, people!

      1. I hear that Yellowstone has a volcano that is perfect candidate for your soultion.

  39. And of course we trust the politicians to 1) implement this plan without any of their usual trickery, and 2) not to fuck with it later on to increase the tax take or push us further along to a “planned economy”. And of course they’ll stop doing it if it doesn’t actually help the environment.

    Yeah, sure.

    1. The progs will complain that whatever tax it is won’t be enough to save all the polar bears, third world poor, and unemployed bureaucrats. But hey, these “conservatives” just gave the dems a wonderful new tool for when they win the presidency and congress again, just like they did with Obamacare-only there will be a carbon tax and 1000X more regulations.

  40. I take issue with the description of this group as ‘conservative stalwarts’. This group is basically the NeoCon All-Stars (and we all know a Neocon is just a prog with a warboner so big he/she left the Democrats).

  41. The problem is, when someone, I’m not sure who, Al Gore? thought up this massive cash grab, it looked so profitable on a global scale, that a lot of people jumped aboard that gravy train. The promise of the thing was so great that the people just cannot get off it, they’ll go down with the ship, and it is going down. A very small percentage of Americans consider climate change a major issue in their life. Poll after poll has shown this. And the numbers get smaller every year.

    And let me ask this question. Europe has had a carbon tax for how long? How much has that reduced global temperatures? Anyone?

    1. It is also effected by virtue signaling and the culture war. As frustrating as Ron can be in giving this crap credence, you have to remember the kind of ignorant and backward social circles he likely runs in. If Ron actually came out and called bullshit on this, he would likely lose a lot of friends or be thought of as a nut by many others.

      In many ways the things he publishes are like letters and secret cries for help from someone stuck inside a religious cult. He couldn’t come out and say the truth that dear leader is crazy and the whole thing is a shame, even if he wanted to.

      1. My suspicion as well. He just published an article documenting the fraud the NOAA perpetrated.

        1. I saw an interview with Charles Krauthammer not long ago. He was asked if he liked being an influential person.

          “I liked it better when no one knew who I was. I could say whatever I wanted.”

          1. Entertainers are owned by their audience. Look up – Bob Dylan goes electric.

    2. They have cap and trade and the market for indulgences credits has cratered.

      My question is, who gets to be the new carbon pope?

      1. I love how they call this a “free market solution” as if anything no matter how oppressive and horrible can be called “free market” just so long as there is some kind of market involved.

      2. Pope Carbon I

        Yeah, I like the sound of that.

    3. But according to tom steyer the vast majority support it!

      However wash state which went for clinton shot tax down which was supposed to be revenue neutral

      1. It was also opposed by the environmental lobby, because it was ‘revenue neutral’. That I think is when the mask came off. This has never been about correcting some imagined problem. It’s about bigger government and a whole lot of rent-seeking

  42. Okay so let’s see if I can understand this problem from libertarian first principles.

    I purchase a product in the free market. My normal use of this product *may or may not* cause unintentional harm to my neighbor. If my neighbor can prove in court that both his rights were violated, and that his violation of rights was caused by my use of the product, then he may justly seek damages from me. So I suppose it would be up to those who claim to have experienced harm from carbon dioxide to prove that they have been harmed, and that furthermore it was the carbon dioxide emitted from a particular individual/organization that caused the harm. Seems like a tall burden to meet.

    1. Forgetting you crude understanding of tort and common law, yes it is a tall burden, but that is because there is no proof that this bullshit is true sufficient to meet even the lowest standards.

      You are right, you could never prove harm of this in court. And if you were not retarded, that would cause you to reconsider your opinion about the theory in general.

      1. But if I could not prove harm of CO2 pollution in court, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t harm from CO2. Only that it doesn’t meet the burden of proof that is required by a court. Which is FINE, by the way. That is the way it ought to be within a libertarian framework. That doesn’t solve the problem of what to do about any harm that might be caused by CO2, or by any potential pollutant.

        You can rant all you want that “global warming is a hoax”. You’re entitled to your beliefs. But it does not address the larger problem: what is the proper libertarian solution when normal activities produce harmful results that are diffuse and difficult to prove on an individualized level? I know that one potential solution is a Pigovan-type tax. But as is correctly pointed out, these taxes end up being slush funds for politicians and there is zero guarantee that the tax money is used to actually alleviate or remediate the problem.

        What is your solution, John?

        1. I can’t speak for John, but if it cannot be proven to an individual level of responsibility, then how can an individual penalty be justified? Maybe the answer is to develop better proof of the case rather than seeking a remedy through a means with a lower burden of proof.

          1. I can’t speak for John, but if it cannot be proven to an individual level of responsibility, then how can an individual penalty be justified?

            Perhaps it is not. However, at the moment that the harm takes place, that is when the violation of rights has occurred. Supposing for the moment that I can prove that my rights have been violated, but simply I cannot prove, based on current standards of proof, that a particular individual violated my rights, how then is the best way to see justice served? I see three options:

            1. Leave things the way they are, and so if my rights are violated, I’m simply told “too bad so sad” – this doesn’t seem acceptable to me, since we are supposed to want to see those who violate the rights of others to be punished
            2. Use a very loose standard of proof, so that everyone who *might* have violated my rights are declared guilty – this doesn’t seem acceptable to me either, since we AREN’T supposed to see those who have nothing to do with any harm be punished either
            3. Something in between

            1. Something in between

              We have a lot of examples “something in between” designed to address some hypothetical or stochastic harm, most of which end up looking very not libertarian once enforced.

              1. We have a lot of examples “something in between” designed to address some hypothetical or stochastic harm, most of which end up looking very not libertarian once enforced.

                See I completely agree with this. So I don’t know what the correct solution is.

            2. Superfund sites work like #2.

              e.g. landfill found to be leaching mercury. Every company that dumped into landfill charged a percentage of the cost of mitigation proportional to the tonnage they disposed. Everyone assumed guilty.

              1. Yeah, and I think that is a crappy model to apply to issues of climate change.

            3. ” However, at the moment that the harm takes place, that is when the violation of rights has occurred.”

              First it has to be established exactly what “right” you are claiming that you have and if in fact that is a right.

              There is certainly no such thing as an individual right to a completely unchanging global climate.

              1. There is certainly no such thing as an individual right to a completely unchanging global climate.

                Yeah, right. Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that there’s no universal right to a productive job or free healthcare!

              2. There is certainly no such thing as an individual right to a completely unchanging global climate.

                No, that is not what I’m claiming. I am presupposing that it is possible to prove tangible personal harm due to climate change or due to some pollutant, just that it is not possible to prove individually who caused the harm.

        2. what is the proper libertarian solution when normal activities produce harmful results that are diffuse and difficult to prove on an individualized level?

          If the harmful effects are so diffuse and difficult to prove that they don’t constitute legally actionable harm, the proper solution is to do nothing. You’ve made the precautionary principle into a spherical cow here, but it’s no more sophisticated in this formulation than its ever been.

          1. If the harmful effects are so diffuse and difficult to prove that they don’t constitute legally actionable harm, the proper solution is to do nothing.

            Well, okay. But consider this thought experiment:

            Suppose I accidentally dump a carcinogen in my neighbor’s well. Now, that carcinogen *might* give my neighbor cancer, and if it did, it would only occur years later. So let’s suppose my neighbor did develop cancer, and was able to prove in court (1) that he has cancer, (2) that he spotted me dumping a carcinogen in his well, and even (3) that the type of cancer that he has *may* have been caused by the carcinogen that I used. My defense would be that it was all a big accident; the concentration of the carcinogen was so small, after dilution in the large volume of water in the well, as to be essentially inert; and besides, all of my neighbor’s usual activities, along with his genetics, had a fair chance of giving him cancer anyway. I think it’s a fair bet that I could be found not guilty of causing my neighbor’s cancer. (Guilty of trespassing? Yes. But not guilty of causing his cancer.)

            So in this scenario, if the carcinogen *really did* cause his cancer, then his rights were violated by me, and I got away with it. That does not seem like a just result to me.

            1. CO2 isn’t a freaking carcinogen, it’s a basic building block of all life on earth.

              As for your hypotheticals in regards to CO2: If you could possibly show that your neighbor has “harmed” you by his CO2 output and consumption, it would be relatively easy for your other neighbor to prove the same of you. So everyone is “harming” everyone else and we can all play carousel.

  43. Let’s raise the prices of everything in a non-visible way and then make it look like we’re giving money away.

    Politicians are going to love it.

    1. We are going to shrink government by taxing virtually every product made in the economy as well as those imported and then rebating the money. Nothing says “small government” like taxes and income redistribution.

  44. Keep the government out of my environment!

    I’d rather be scared of the bullshit man-bear-pig than a government that tries to stop said bogus invention of leftists.

    ACM is total bullshit you morons

  45. Since we passed point of no return in 2009 why even do anything?

    Also im not sure if US emissions went to zero it would do much

    This is do somethingism feel good fluff

    1. The warmer things are the better. More places to fish, more being outside in comfortable cloths, more trees, more trees to sit under in comfortable cloths outside while fishing.

      Do the alarmist honestly think that some Asian can’t figure out how to solve this, if it were at all a real problem?

      1. Bigger heat sink in the ocean due to more area

        1. Is that the current explain away that they are using for all the cold and snow?

  46. Fuck off, slaver.

  47. they propose a carbon dividends plan that rests upon four pillars: (1) a gradually increasing carbon tax, (2) carbon dividends for all Americans, (3) border carbon tax adjustments, and (4) the elimination of all current top-down climate change regulations.

    Sounds a lot like Obamneycare (thanks for that Heritage!). You know what works even better than centrally planned tax schemes? Markets. Fuck you.

  48. Hey has anyone asked prog friends if they would be cool with an all out ban on co2?

    Like 0 ppm in atmosphere

    1. We would have to ban all O2 in order to have no CO2.

      I am in favor of banning all O2 to leftists.

      1. Im talking the basic principle. If they really love science should be an easy answer

        1. understood.

        1. Did you know that EVERYONE who drinks water will die???

          1. Did you know that 100% of people with cancer have consumed DHMO in the past?

    2. Hey has anyone asked prog friends if they would be cool with an all out ban on co2

      I’ve thought about getting a camera and asking a bunch of schoolkids this. I’m guessing they’d be all for it.

      Because their teachers fucking love science.

    3. I think I read that plants die off under ~150ppm.

      1. And optimum for most plant growth is around 1100ppm according to growers who feed supplemental CO? into their greenhouses.

  49. COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE

    1. Proof proof proof proof…..

      1. Proof of what?

  50. California has been leading the charge on this!

    How’s that working out? Each state can be a laboratory for figuring out what policies work or don’t work. /Republican

    Nevermind that the carbon tax in CA mostly goes to offset deficits in public sector employee pensions plans. On a national scale, I suspect the carbon tax revenue would go to offset Social Security deficits.

    Whatever the merits of this proposal may be, I do not believe there is the political will to sequester taxes for a specific purpose. Another emergency, where that money should go elsewhere, will always be in effect.

  51. “The CLC folks envision the carbon dividend plan as collecting a carbon tax beginning at about $40 per ton at the wellhead, minehead, or import terminal. The tax would gradually and predictably increase over time enabling innovators, businesses and consumers to take future energy prices into account as they make their plans. The CLC group calculates that the tax would initially garner $200 and $300 billion which they estimate would yield about $2,000 annually in dividends for a family of four.”

    Nice. Now suck my balls.

    Just like SS and pensions and other government run schemes ended up exactly as forecast, right? All smoooooth with the bureaucracy, right? Unfrickennintended consefuckenquences.

  52. Carbon Dividends: Solve Man-Made Climate Change While Shrinking Government?

    Let’s shrink the government by allowing it to confiscate vast amounts of extra money and give it more discretion in deciding who to give it to.

    Government-rigged markets and lost minds.

    Liberfuckingtarian moment.

  53. Why do the dividends? Just another stupid government carrot to distract from the stick.

    Better:
    No regulations on energy usage.
    Small tax on combustible carbon.
    Governments dumps 100% of said tax into DARPA-like fundamental R&D for alternative energy. Then, someday, we may have a Mr Fusion on the backs of our Delorians.

    A Chem Prof I had stated it best. “Regardless of everything else, petroleum, coal and NG are the single best raw materials we have for materials science. Burning them at the rate we are, knowing the quantity is finite, is the height of stupidity”

    1. Burning them at the rate we are, knowing the quantity is finite, is the height of stupidity

      … except for all the other factors which make it economically beneficial to do so. When scarcity becomes more pressing, the cost calculus will shift and burning them won’t be such a good use anymore.

      1. True. Although the material science aspect currently is given little attention considering how important it is. I suspect that the ‘sustainable chemicals’ industry is larger than the ‘alternative energy’ industry. It’s a cost that typically isn’t factored into the calculus for a barrel of oil.

        I think there is a place for government to apply a slight pressure to the cost scales to account for unanticipated effects.

        1. Do you realize how many possible unanticipated effects there are?

          More than you can afford.

        2. I think there is a place for government to apply a slight pressure to the cost scales to account for unanticipated effects.

          Sure, why not. It’s never worked before, but this time, they’ll get it right.

      2. I remember back in the 70’s when we were going to run out of oil in the next few years. There just wasn’t enough available. They were right that we ran out of 20?/gal oil, but there seems to be plenty of $2/gal oil.

    2. Burning them at the rate we are, knowing the quantity is finite, is the height of stupidity”

      Ask your Chem professor how he likes freezing to death and living on locally produced food alone. He might have made the dumbest statement I have ever heard.

      1. That’s why he’s a chem prof and not an economist.

      2. Most profs, especially scientists, are prog types and very cheap. So they probably wouldn’t mind at all. I had a friend when I was a kid whose dad was an astronomer – he never heated their house expect for one room that had a wood stove and was a rabid vegetarian too.

      3. Exaggerate much John? He was a far wiser man than you, and my hacked quote didn’t do him justice.

        He wasn’t talking about not burning it at all. He was talking about the ‘rate’.

        1. He isn’t wise at all. He is a moron. First, he presumed to understand how much of it is out there. If he can do that, he should have been out working in the petroleum industry because they don’t seem to know the answer to that question. Second, he apparently thinks we burn the stuff for fun and to see the pretty flames instead of to make modern civilization.

          Your prof was a moron who should stick to Chemistry.

          1. You’re an idiot, John.

            Petroleum is the feedstock for almost every consumer product that has carbon in it. Two very notable examples are plastics and pharmaceuticals. So if you had a limited supply of oil, which do you think would be the better use for it – turn it into antibiotics, or burn it? That is what your professor was saying, and so am I.

            BURNING oil ALONE did not create modern civilization. Creatively using oil to make modern materials is what did.

            1. John overstates his case, it is true, but he is right insofar as the burning fossil fuels–not just petroleum but coal and natural gas, too–was a key driver of industrialization and the building of modern civilization. The thing is, there’s no reason right now why it has to be an either/or situation between “use it to make stuff” and “burn it to make energy”. It is so abundant right now that it doesn’t matter. If/when it ceases to be so abundant, then by virtue of prices it will be allocated differently.

  54. Do these conservatives have a plan B?

    1. “Adapt” is always Plan A

      all these other time/energy/capital-diverting & wasting proposals are actually the ‘Plan B’

      1. Adaptation is HARD!!!

      2. Change (or adapting) is always the last thing on the mind of a conservative.

  55. This is nothing but another form of wealth redistribution.

    Screw that.

    1. Of course it is, with most of it being redistributed to the rent seeker sponsors of the scam. A little table scraps get thrown out to the poorest, and as usual, the middle class gets stuck with the bill.

  56. everyone of these ideas are bad and only meant to solve a false narrative that is not only not caused by humans but may global warming may actually be better in the long run. I’m not willing to gamble in either direction

  57. Gee, a highly regressive form of consumption taxation that can only be offset if Top Men get the rebates just right

    What could possibly go wrong?

  58. “Conservative Stalwarts” Propose Carbon Tax, Fool Absolutely No One

    Film at 11.

  59. Now that there is a tax that can be hitched to ending EPA regs we have a sudden interest in fighting global warming.
    I hope when this all shakes out so called policy experts and wonks will be afraid to come out of their bedrooms. Because they make deals with the devil if it advances part of their agenda and will screw over everybody for it they deserve not simple scorn but overt hostility. Quit with the games.
    I imagine you can tell I am not in favor of this totally made up concoction.

  60. AlGoreWarming gets an F in physics .

    Don’t feed an incredibly destructive anti-science fraud .

  61. Hell. No.

    Next?

  62. Did anyone consider the HUGE blocks of concrete under every wind turbine?

    Those suckers are FOREVER. Well close enough to it for government work.

  63. I was drawn to the website of the legislative branch of the US Government to see H.R. 861 titled: To Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.

    There it was, introduced on 3 Feb and sent to 6 committees. No synopsis. No text. BT a bill like this would probably end up doubling the funding, expanding the scope, and hiring more police. Just seeing the title and it being introduced gave me a chubby, even though I’m much too cynical to think it will go anywhere.

  64. If the global warming aka climate change panic is so credible, then why did NOAA resort to fudging the data last year? That’s not ethical scientific behavior; it’s what happens when science becomes politicized. I’ll take the alarmists more seriously when they start acting as they want the rest of us to do. It would also be nice if they would stop exhaling carbon dioxide.

    1. Why do you believe every bit of horseshit reporting that comes from the Daily Mail on this subject but not anything from a credible source?

      1. Are you a climate scientist? If not how do you determine it is credible

    2. Yes and no. There are some valid reasons for adjusting data before you use it. For example, weather stations used to take their readings in the late afternoon. Then around 1960 they changed it to first thing in the morning. You’ve got to make some sort of reasonable adjustment so you have a more valid baseline. The there’s the changes due to the urban heat island effect. Stations that used to be in the middle of a corn field are now in the middle of an asphalt parking lot.

      What they should have done was to keep the raw data up and then published their adjustment procedure so that others could decide for themselves how much adjustment for what reasons they need to do before working with the data. But since that isn’t what they did, it pisses the hell out of me.

  65. The entire CAGW hypotheses is apocryphal and unproven. It is the worst sort of scientism. Political leaders who impose or allow taxes or regulations on fossil fuels will be seen as fools.

    Climate change is a false premise for regulating or taxing carbon dioxide emissions. Nature converts CO2 to calcite (limestone). Climate change may or may not be occurring, but is is surely NOT caused by human fossil fuels use. Changes in temperature cause changes in ambient CO2, with an estimated 800 year time lag.

    Fossil fuels emit only 3% of total CO2 emissions. 95% comes from rotting vegetation. All the ambient CO2 in the atmosphere is promptly converted in the oceans to calcite (limestone) and other carbonates, mostly through biological paths. CO2 + CaO => CaCO3 (exothermic). The conversion rate increases with increasing CO2 partial pressure. A dynamic equilibrium-seeking mechanism.

    99.84% of all carbon on earth is already sequestered as sediments in the lithosphere. The lithosphere is a massive hungry carbon sink that converts ambient CO2 to carbonate almost as soon as it is emitted. All living or dead organic matter (plants, animals, microbes etc. amount to only 0.00033% of the total carbon mass on earth. Ambient CO2 is only 0.00255%.

    Full implementation of the Paris Treaty is now estimated to cost $50 trillion to $100 trillion by 2030–$6,667-$13,333 per human being. Nearly two-thirds of humanity’s cumulative savings over history. And will not affect climate at all.

    1. Fuck where is your Nobel.

      1. Where is yours? He used science here which is why you are upset. You believe in dogma

    2. You’re conflating a lot of things there. CAGW (*Catastrophic* Anthropomorphic Global Warming) seems to be mainly BS, but the basic science behind AGW (without the catastrophic) is not.

      The 800 year time lag you’re referring to is the average difference between when temperatures peak and when CO? concentration peaks in historical ice age cores and other analogues. The oceans are a huge heat sink and warm water can’t hold as much CO? as cold water. It takes a lot longer for the oceans to cool down than the air so they’re still outgassing while the air temperature is already going down. Needless to say, the extra CO? isn’t sufficient to overpower all the other things going on in the natural climate and we still freeze up.

      In the late 1800s the CO? concentration in the atmosphere was about 280ppm. It’s now around 400ppm. There’s no question about those numbers, nor about how much CO? we’ve emitted nor the fact that CO? *is* a greenhouse gas and everything that implies. The actual numbers don’t hold up for the catstrophists, but denying the parts that *are* solid science doesn’t help anyone.

      1. check your “greenhouse” it looses Quanta more than models data loaded,..oops!!!

        the sun and earths magnetic shifts( rotational shifts) will decide earths fate, not man..

        400 ppm CO2, great for plants..they love it..take a plant biology course sometime.

  66. I suppose liberals and Democrats are destined to be the nerds in the back of the gym going “what the fuck!” as the retard jocks finally implement what they’ve been asking for all along. And I’m fine with that.
    “It’s simple so it must work better” is a principle I’m skeptical of, but on both the carbon tax and the basic standard income, if small-government types can get on board with reality with the schemes, that’s better than the untenable status quo.

    1. How would the liberal plan abate the problem? Can you show this?

      You seem to conflate doing something as actually accomplishing results which liberals arent known for

  67. Raising taxes to shrink government…BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  68. These senescent pharisees seem to be talking up their books. In the case of coal, the amount f the tax would be about four times the value of the coal. Natural gas would be more than double. We would be doomed to dependence on costly unreliable renewables and dangerous nuclear power. All because of some crony-capitalist brahmins.

    1. Pollution imposes costs.

      1. Environmentalists impose pollution and cost by not allowing modern nuclear tech to be used.

        1. Why do you make me beat you, bitch!?

      2. That doesn’t mean the state has any idea what they are.

      3. What are these costs and how would this tax abate them? Are you a climate scientist?

  69. I think I might have a better idea….

    How about making it easier to site new, modern and modular nuclear electrical generation stations. This would pave the way to replacing aging coal and eventually natural gas facilities with a massive source of electrical generation capability 24/7 that produces little to no C02.

    Just thinking….

  70. Allocating carbon tax proceeds to other purposes would undermine popular support for a gradually rising carbon tax and the broader rationale for far-reaching regulatory reductions.

    Also eliminate much of the justification

    Lockean Proviso
    Land Tax
    Citizen’s Dividend

  71. and in 30 years we find out we were hoaxed and the world is Trillions poorer, and Al gore is a multi Trillionaire..

  72. I like the theory. I can’t imagine the bureaucracy required to establish the carbon level of all imports, though. I can’t imagine it can be done objectively and accurately at all.

  73. A decent idea (flat carbon tax and regulatory rollback) made much worse by turning it into welfare. If releasing carbon actually is an externality / hidden cost upon others, then the proceeds from any tax should be tied directly to remediating that specific cost.

    In other words, the tax funds should go toward sequestering carbon or similarly reversing the external harm done. That way, the tax percentage is strictly limited by the amount of damage to undo rather than the desire for general welfare which is likely insatiable.

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