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The Republican Carbon Tax Bill Would Create Powerful Commission With Access to All Government Data

The "National Climate Commission" would institutionalize special interests that favor taxes to combat climate change.

Renee Schoof/TNS/NewscomRenee Schoof/TNS/NewscomBuried inside a carbon tax plan unveiled Monday by a Florida Republican is a plan to create a National Climate Commission and give it virtually unlimited access to government data on American businesses.

The National Climate Commission would meet once every three years, be staffed with a mix of academics and scientists "with expertise in the economy, energy, climate, or public health," and charged with setting new carbon tax rates "that reflect the latest scientific findings of what is needed to avoid serious human health and environmental consequences of a changing climate."

Opponents of carbon taxes are worried about the role the commission could play in future tax policy, and are raising red flags about potential privacy issues. On page 69 of the 71-page bill, the commission is granted authority to secure "unrestricted information" from "any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instumentality of the government." If the federal government has any information, it could be obtained by the members of the National Climate Commission.

"Potentially, there is a problem here because it doesn't say anything about confidential or proprietary business information," Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, tells Reason.

Lewis says that this omission could be intentional or inadvertent. It wouldn't be difficult to fix—an additional clause specifying that the commission would not have access to private information shared between companies and other government agencies for regulatory reasons would be enough to cover it, he says.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), who introduced the carbon tax—the Market Choice Act—to much fanfare on Monday, admitted his bill was unlikely to pass but said he was confident that legislation similar to it would become law someday.

"It will spark an important debate about investing in our country's infrastructure, the way we tax and what to do to protect the environment," he said in remarks Monday at the National Press Club.

The bill would repeal existing federal taxes on gasoline and aircraft fuels. In their place, it would introduce a $24-per-ton tax on industrial carbon-dioxide emissions. The tax would increase by 2 percent annually, with other adjustments possible depending on fluctuations in the consumer price index and national carbon emission goals outlined in the bill.

A carbon tax is not a fundamentally un-libertarian idea. Jonathan H. Adler, a professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law (and Volokh Conspiracy contributor), has argued for the use of carbon taxes as part of a market-based approach to tackling climate change. "If the global atmosphere is a global commons owned by us all, why should not those who use this commons to dispose of their carbon emissions pay a user fee to compensate those who are affected," he wrote in a 2012 article for The Atlantic.

Properly applied, a carbon tax would have Americans paying for the full costs of their energy usage, rather than dumping those costs into the atmosphere to be dealt with by future generations. Certainly, that's a more market-oriented approach to the carbon problem than more heavy-handed approaches that require the government to ban certain industries or activities.

But Curbelo's bill reveals some of the difficulties in striking the right balance. Any carbon tax is likely to be a highly technocratic exercise, but how much power do you give the technocrats? And who might those technocrats be?

Curbelo's bill authorizes the commission to hire "experts and consultants," but that means "all of the left wing activist groups/NGOs/Soros types can get on the 'experts and consultants' gravy train, and all of their activist work is given an official government imprimatur," says John Kartch, vice president of communications for Americans for Tax Reform, which opposes the carbon tax proposal.

The creation of the National Climate Commission is likely not the most concerning aspect of Curbelo's bill. That honor would go to the fact that the carbon tax is likely to hike household energy bills by more than $600 annually—that's according to a Columbia University analysis of his proposal—or to the fact that the IRS would be authorized to impose massive penalties, up to 300 percent of the unpaid tax, on any person who "failed to comply with" the new tax.

To make matters worse, the National Climate Commission would incorporate pro-tax interests into the federal government while also giving global warming warriors access to any information they wanted from any American business. That seems like maybe not the best idea.

"A lot of lobbyists, a lot of consultants worked on this bill," says Lewis. "Would they be eligible to serve on the commission they helped create? That should be clarified."

Photo Credit: Renee Schoof/TNS/Newscom

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  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    A carbon tax is not a fundamentally un-libertarian idea.

    Fuck you, son.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    The idea that people should pay a price for negative externalities they create is fundamentally un-libertarian? Then I suppose you won't mind if I refuse to pay your hospital bills or be held legally responsible after my baseball bat collides with your kneecaps multiple times. After all, I have freedom of swinging, and I can't be held responsible for any negative externalities that creates–it's fundamentally un-libertarian to think that!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    One might say that's what litigation is for.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    So is litigation over air pollution fundamentally un-libertarian as well?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Not in my estimation.

  • Just Say'n||

    First you must prove an externality in order to force others to pay for the harm done by that externality. Predicting apocalyptic demise fifty to hundred years from now due to the weather is not an externality. That is a fairy tale

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Don't disagree with that. Disagree with the idea that forcing others to pay for the harm done by an externality is fundamentally un-libertarian.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It is when you don't consider the net benefits as well. Why, one might even call that hypocrisy. It's all the rage around here these days.

  • waxliberty||

    You need to document positive *externalities*, not just benefits. Direct energy benefits are already priced into fossil fuel market transactions. Side effects (pollution) aren't. Any positive externalities you come up with (what?) need to be balanced against very large negative externalities coming from the effective subsidy of permitting free pollution dumping (now that the evidence is clear that the net effects of CO2/CH4/N20 dumping are overwhelmingly negative in driving warming and resultant climate change, they have to be assessed as atmospheric pollutants by definition.)

    Seems easier to list further subsidies than list undercounted positive externalities that are specific to fossil fuels, vs. being a result of energy usage. (Carbon pricing fixes would address pollution of fossil fuels only, not all energy sources, as that's the point.)

  • Just Say'n||

    Well I agree that a tax to account for verifiable and indisputable externalities can be justified. I know that others still believe that this should be resolved through torn litigation, but I think it's a fair argument to be had

  • waxliberty||

    It follows from fairly straightforward logic:

    (a) greenhouse spiking driving warming, rooted in continually observed atmospheric physics (gaps in outgoing longwave)

    (b) observation of impact already underway, IPCC WGII is reasonable. Coastal damage from the extra foot of sea level we have, statistical rise in heat waves, escalating mass coral bleaching and die-offs threatening ocean wildlife and food sources broadly etc.

    Most of the political opposition focuses on denial of (a), in the spirit of your comment and prior backlash movements against scientific evidence, but that road falls apart under scrutiny.

  • juris imprudent||

    Swing away with that bat, and see how well you hold up against my bullet. Whee, escalation of stupidity is FUN!

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    What "negative externalities"?

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Air pollution in this instance, your broken kneecaps in the hypothetical instance.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Go suck Al Gore's cock, if you can find it underneath his many layers of belly fat.

  • Libertymike||

    The nature and extent of the externalities is not something to take as defined by eco-socialists, eco-communists, eco-progressives, eco-scientists, any person hostile to free and unregulated enterprise, and eco-loving totalitarians of all stripes.

    Externalities can never be addressed if done so through the fake frame of "climate change."

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Which is a fair stance to take. There are plenty of conditions that would need to be met before I'd consider a carbon tax, or an overall tax on pollutants, viable; but I disagree with WCR that a carbon tax would be fundamentally un-libertarian.

  • Libertymike||

    Tort system beats administrative state regulatory regime.

  • JFree||

    Not necessarily. Like it or not, an adversarial legal system depends on which side pays more for better lawyers. Do you believe that actual harm prevention should be mostly a function of existing wealth?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Do you think speculative harm prevention should be mostly a function of mob rule?

  • JFree||

    No - I think that formal courts of equity used to work side-by-side with formal courts of law. Precisely to offset the harshness and glacial pace of change of courts of law. Those courts of equity morphed into parliamentary/regulatory law - for very legitimate reasons - and were then eliminated - and now people like you want to pretend they never existed and hey let's get rid of what they morphed into as well.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So that's a yes. And what makes it "equity" is its majority status.

  • JFree||

    So - you are an ignoramus. And a dingleberry muncher to boot.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Just more lunatic word salad. Give it a few more years and you and the good reverend can drool in stereo.

  • waxliberty||

    "Tort system beats administrative state regulatory regime"

    Not super practical here. Let's say city of Guangzhou faces billions in costs from sea level rise. You recommend they sue... who?

    In terms of track record of driving sea level so far, businesses and citizens of the U.S., U.K. and others dominate the 40% global increase in atmospheric CO2.

    You really support mass class action lawsuits of this nature, vs. rational policy to reduce global damages in the first place?

    Let's say escalation of coral die-off continues (given we can't find any reason in physics or biology why it won't... ~half the GBR dead from 2016-17 rounds and ocean warming relentlessly continuing). The world loses a basically unpriceable resource. Who sues who?

    You guarantee worse net outcomes.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    If CO2 is pollution, then every animal on the planet is an offender. Try having any life with zero atmospheric CO2 (or water or methane for that matter).

  • SKR||

    Every animal poops too. Poop is still pollution.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The poison is in the dose.

    You can no doubt explain how life can exist on this planet with zero CO2. And you can definitely state precisely what the proper level of CO2 should be.

  • BYODB||

    Lets see, lethal concentration of CO2 is ballpark 40000 PPM and we're at ~350 / ~450 depending on who you believe. Yeah, I'll get right on clutching those pearls since it's doubtful we could get to that number even if we tried on purpose let alone on accident. Not even close, if we directed everyone to do nothing but release CO2 for the next few hundred years.

    Now, we could maybe drop CO2 below ~170 and watch plants die en masse. That seems like a great idea...if you're stupid.

  • damikesc||

    Instapundit has pretty accurately described my views.

    I'll believe it's a crisis when the people saying it is one act like it is one.

    When you see tarmacs full of jets for people attending climate change meetings, no, I do not believe for a moment that this is a problem. And neither do they.

  • Juice||

    Oxygen was pollution 2 billion years ago.

  • Whorton||

    Precisely, without Carbon Dioxide, life on this rock would generally cease, faster than you typed out your retort. Add to that the fact no one has compiled data on the optimal level of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide for plants, animals and humans. To assume otherwise is arrogant at best and damned foolish in reality.

  • waxliberty||

    "without Carbon Dioxide, life on this rock would generally cease"

    This is a common logical fallacy. There are many counter-examples, e.g. iron is an essential human nutrient but also can be an industrial pollutant.

    False dilemma – reducing free GHG dumping in the atmosphere poses no risk to .

    Even crops do not appear to net benefit from CO2 dumping, despite often benefitting in a greenhouse – they are extremely sensitive to shifting weather patterns (seasonal trends, highs, precipitation and humidity). e.g. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/333/6042/616

  • waxliberty||

    Lots of explanations available (for pretty much all of these commonly circulated pop climate science myths) in science resources online.

    "on the face of it, we humans are a significant contributor to global warming. But, in reality, the CO2 we're breathing out is part of a natural cycle, by which our bodies convert carbohydrates from CO2-absorbing plants into energy, plus water and CO2. As such, we're not adding any extra CO2. In contrast, burning fossil fuels like coal releases CO2 which has been locked up for millions of years, producing a net contribution to global warming."
    http://www.sciencefocus.com/qa.....ate-change

    Per usual/legal English it becomes pollution when it has net negative impact on the environment or human economies – that has only happened as a result of digging up *sequestered* carbon (coal, petroleum) in giant quantities and burning them into the air.

  • Whorton||

    That is, of course assuming the intended victim blithely submits to having his kneecaps assaulted and, in anticipation of said actions does not pull out an appropriate firearm and relieve you of your life before your evil machination comes to fruition.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Apparently the government dictating what that price should be (without considering any offsetting benefits as hinkle and Adler do) is now libertarian.

    Whodathunk?

  • Jerryskids||

    Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), who introduced the carbon tax—the Market Choice Act—to much fanfare on Monday, admitted his bill was unlikely to pass but said he was confident that legislation similar to it would become law someday.

    It worked for Obamacare and the Democrats got a chance to screw us with Big Government, it's only fair that the Republicans get their turn to screw us with Big Government.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), who introduced the carbon tax—the Market Choice Act...

    With a name like that, I don't understand why it's not universally popular with free market advocates.

  • Libertymike||

    Names like that.....are they all that different from names like.....Castro, Chavez, Maduro, Somoza, Ocasio-Cortez, et al?

  • hello.||

    He meant the name of the bill you dingus.

  • juris imprudent||

    Taxes are to fund the operation of govt. Once you leave that justification you are just another social engineer. And the only response to that is fuck off slaver.

  • JFree||

    The problem is tough enough anyway. Compounding it by turning an externality into a tax solves nothing

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    ^This.

  • Ron||

    not only that you have to prove that a problem even exist and changing temperature if true does not prove harm

  • Whorton||

    Not necessarily, it increases resentment for government and its agents greatly.

  • waxliberty||

    "turning an externality into a tax solves nothing"

    I think wanting to use market mechanisms is not crazy. Doing nothing is pretty crazy (obviously a cottage industry of denial talking points tries to make the case... unfortunately all those claims dissolve pretty instantly under scrutiny.)

    There is a reasonable case for blunter methods of government intervention, like just capping emissions (EPA CPP as an example), but per comment at top it is hard to see those as more libertarian. In either case you require some rational body to perform net assessments of evidence, which is both difficult and a political challenge. But again, costs and risks of doing nothing pretty clearly exceed (in real world).

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Properly applied, a carbon tax would have Americans fully paying for the costs of their energy usage..."

    Because the only difficulty in imposing an artificially determined price hike above market values based on unknowable variables is doing it "properly". Apparently, believing this aspect of the knowledge problem can be solved by a central authority is libertarian, and there is no fundamental flaw in the premise. It is scientism overriding economics.

  • ||

    Apparently, believing this aspect of the knowledge problem can be solved by a central authority is libertarian, and there is no fundamental flaw in the premise.

    Well said.

  • Jerryskids||

    Properly applied, apple juice makes bulletproof body armor. If it isn't bulletproof, you obviously didn't apply it properly. That argument sounds familiar.

  • JFree||

    That is why the knowledge elephant needs to chopped into smaller pieces. There are plenty of things that are very well-known.

    We know the efficiency of the various usage 'appliances' and what fuels they use (cars, AC, furnaces, etc). That doesn't need taxes at all - just needs to have the inefficiencies capitalized into the cost of the appliance itself. Easier said than done of course

    We can know the wastage of the grid/infrastructure itself - energy lost through elec distribution when production is central and consumption is far away, through transp mileage that is excessive because we deliberately sprawl sources from destinations. That is mostly a govt thing - but it should also be funded via general (pref land) taxes not carbon taxes because it impacts everything not just energy usage and hence emissions.

    We know how much of the source fuels we extract - and it is all extracted not created. That is the one area where the market itself fails - but govt doesn't do any better. And neither has a chance of working until we once again put land (energy is part of land) back into economics - and figure out a better way for markets to deal with time/debt that can span generations/lifespans. This is the source of so many unknowns (eg climate change) - but they are universal unknowns. On the bright side, fixing the first two minimizes this one.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    See inefficiencies must be capitalized or else the ferengi will inhibit the phase clusters of the georgian-westphalian compromise declension.

    Efficiency has absolutely nothing to do with Coasian or Pigovian thought on externalities. And the only market "failure" in your dementia comes from the idea that resources can never be consumed because that is literally STEALING FROM THE CHILDREN!!!! Of course the exact same "problem" arises between the children and the children's children.

  • BYODB||

    That's why you sterilize everyone in the generation that uses the resources, one might suppose?

    /sarc

    Oh, actually it's only partial sarcasm since there are still 'population bomb' idiots out there. I wonder if JFree is one of those as well...

  • JFree||

    Inefficiencies must be capitalized so that people buying a vehicle can actually impact the market for vehicles. For transport vehicles, one of the biggest inefficiencies is simple curb weight. Some people may well find it valuable to haul 2-3 tons of dead weight around everywhere because they often need to haul loads for which that ISN'T dead weight. Others may only need the vehicle for commuting or light loads. Others may have a mix - or different preferences. That range of personal knowledges/preferences does NOT make it into the marketplace. And it won't with a fucking sticker on a window of an already-produced car either. It has to be incorporated into the price of the vehicle itself - and that is a CAPITAL expenditure not an operating expenditure.

    the idea that resources can never be consumed because that is literally STEALING FROM THE CHILDREN!!!! Of course the exact same "problem" arises between the children and the children's children.

    The exact same 'problem' arises with a $20 trillion public debt. And the reason that problem keeps getting worse is because assholes like you are perfectly OK stealing from the children.

  • BYODB||

    'Stealing from the children' is essentially an emotional appeal, not an actual argument. Notably, one can not steal from non-existent persons. Also, debt and tangible resources are not the same animal so I'm not really sure why you're comparing the two. Oh, wait, right, emotional appeal. I forgot.

    By your own statements, it becomes obvious that any and all use of tangible resources should be made illegal and humanity summarily executed. Well done, Mr. Ehrlich.

  • JFree||

    Also, debt and tangible resources are not the same animal so I'm not really sure why you're comparing the two.

    Of course you don't understand. Because you understand 'debt' from a perspective of modern marginalist economics - which ignores land as separate from capital. It mushes the two together. Which also means it mushes together a claim ON either of those - ie debt. The reason it mushed it all together is probably because of banking - borrow money to build a factory and the bank wants to make sure that it can foreclose on both the factory AND the land if necessary. So what portion of total debt is a claim on land and what on capital? To modern economics - that's irrelevant - hence no reason to even bother knowing.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Babble babble.

  • BYODB||

    No, it's because tangible resources can't be negative. It's an impossible situation. You can't have negative five rocks, because negative rocks don't exist.

  • BYODB||

    Conversely, you can have negative money because money is a concept and isn't really a finite resource.

  • JFree||

    Debt can't be a negative either then. It either exists as a POSITIVE claim on an asset - or it doesn't exist.

    Relative to that debt (ability to pay it back) --

    Of course tangible resources can be a negative - see Chernobyl - Superfund sites - the Cuyahoga River. So can capital built on very valuable land - see Lower East Side in late 19th cent - which, if indebted, is more valuable when destroyed.

    Like it or not, the $20 trillion public debt is a positive claim on whatever future generations - living on the land under the jurisdiction of the US - can produce. BET that whenever the public debt itself becomes a potential payback problem - the first legal change will be to land inheritance laws.

  • BYODB||

    Oh my god, are you seriously this dense? Do you honest-to-god believe that negative rocks exist?

    Surprise, Chernobyl will one day be perfectly safe to live, work, and grow food. What the actual fuck is your point here, and what 'future generation' are you specifically talking about?

    No matter what, and I mean no matter what, Earth will one day have zero usable resources left. That's even if every human and life form on this rock dies and uses zero resources. It may surprise you to learn that one day Earth won't even exist, and there is literally nothing you can do about that.

    However, one day mankind might not even use money or monetary value. It's the difference between reality and finance, you ignoramus.

  • JFree||

    Surprise, Chernobyl will one day be perfectly safe to live, work, and grow food.

    And until that day arrives, the local entity will have to devote continual amounts of resources to encase some land in concrete - and withhold huge areas of land from productive use - in order to avoid deaths. Not to gain anything productive out of it. But merely to avoid dying from it. Yes - that is negative value. Abusus not usus or fructus.

    what 'future generation' are you specifically talking about?

    re Chernobyl? Every single person in that affected area who didn't die in the disaster is the 'future generation'. Everyone - from now until whenever - who will have to be coerced (and do this work or pay for it or die = coercion) is the future generation.

    You're looking for permission to draw some bright line that divides 'now' from 'future' - which makes you part of the problem. Because the only purpose of drawing that bright line is to enable 'party now and screw future' on one side of the bright line.

    However, one day mankind might not even use money or monetary value.

    Hahaha. So you're defending the pricing system on the basis of what? That communism will eventually triumph so none of it matters? Hahaha.

  • JFree||

    That theft from others is your free lunch. Your perpetual motion machine. As long as you are dead by the time it all falls apart, you don't give a shit. Because obviously you'll be dead by then.

    THAT is why the market - and govt - both fail to really deal with it. Because all decisions are made by people who can make those decisions now and there is no mechanism in place for how that decision-making itself transfers to a different (future) group of decision-makers.

    It's odd - but this may well be the greatest value that religion had. The notion that you won't really die - you will be judged for all eternity for what you did in this life. And if you really believe that - that changes the decisions you make in this life.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    There's this little concept we like to call entropy. It's no big surprise that you invoke religion because you have a religious belief in the unphysical.

  • Whorton||

    Think of it as motivation to grow their future economy, in essence a cautionary tail against socialism. If they continue to grow their economy, that nasty national debt will melt away magically.

    Much like student loans -After someone cashes in their chips.

    We would not want to set any conditions that would encourage future generations to adopt socialism, now, would we?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Babble babble. Babble babble babble. Babble!

    The "inefficiency" of curb weight is already represented in the fuel costs to operate the vehicle. What, exactly, is left to capitalize? What, exactly, is depreciating based on curb weight?

    Actually it's assholes like you who think that courts of "equity" are a good thing and which demand and enforce the welfare state which is the cause of our public debt.

  • JFree||

    The "inefficiency" of curb weight is already represented in the fuel costs to operate the vehicle. What, exactly, is left to capitalize?

    Hahaha. Yes of course it is. And CAFE has worked really well too. And what is eliminated by NOT capitalizing that cost is any profit for the end-consumer in actually making vehicles smaller - so materials/etc - and business models for the industry - also have to be mandated via CAFE or gas taxes or similar.

    What you're actually arguing - even tho you are too thick to realize it - is that govt is doing a great job now and if it isn't, then the solution is only yet more govt and/or less info/knowledge for consumers.

    it's assholes like you who think that courts of "equity" are a good thing

    Fucking maroon. That 'equity' is the reason that 'natural law' developed into a thang. It is the reason we have a Bill of Rights. It is the reason we have a written Constitution - rather than just Blackstone. It is the reason you have the 1A right to petition the government for a redress of grievances - rather than be limited to acquiring legal standing in a court of law.

    It is the difference between propertarians (the sort who before the Civil War were firmly on the side of slaveowners - and still kind of are) and classical liberals (the sort who thought slavery was a problem even if they didn't like blacks). So what are libertarians nowadays?

  • hello.||

    CAFE standards are insufficiently punitive to force vehicle makers to downsize their products which is necessary because people are too stupid to properly signal their desire for smaller vehicles to auto manufacturers... Well yeah that's just libertarians as motherfuck.

  • JFree||

    people are too stupid to properly signal their desire for smaller vehicles to auto manufacturers... Well yeah that's just libertarians as motherfuck.

    Like it or not - MARKET signals work only through the pricing system. Not magic or wishful thinking.
    Like it or not - externalities are NOT priced. Absence of pricing does not mean absence of cost/externality/impact. It merely means IT ISN'T FUCKING PRICED SO THE MARKET SIGNAL CANNOT POSSIBLY WORK.

    You can pretend that with enough magic and wishful thinking things will change for the better. But they won't. Because those who actually understand the real-world economics of vehicle decision-making are gonna revert to gas taxes or stricter CAFE standards or other STATE created ways of pricing this stuff. While people like you just piss into a headwind and end up with a faceful of urine on you and everyone nearby.

    The only stupid person in this whole thing is - people like you.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Like it or not externalities are hideous to quantify and asshats like you substitute their religion in place of them. Come back with real costs (net of benefits!) that are based on hard data and not wishful thinking.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Again more word salad amounting to basically, "The market didn't produce what I thought it should produce so therefore market failure." Yeah, that makes sense.

    And how am I arguing that government is doing a great job now? Oh, do you actually think that I claimed that curb weight should be controlled by the government just because you're stupid enough to believe so? I didn't. I pointed out that the COST is already born by the consumer in the form of fuel costs (as are the benefits in the form of safety, comfort, and convenience). CAFE is garbage and should be scrapped entirely.

  • Ken Hagler||

    "A carbon tax is not a fundamentally un-libertarian idea."

    A while back Reason ran an article praising Virginia Postrel for making Reason what it is today. My reaction on reading that was, "Oh, so this is all her fault, then?"

  • Just Say'n||

    Why are Republicans copying Gary Johnson's ideas now?

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Behold the power of libertarian spoiler votes at changing christianofascist kleptolooter minds!

    /Hank Phillips

  • Jerryskids||

    This particular Republican represents a district Hillary won last time around, he has to act like a Democrat to keep his seat. The GOP of course understands this and will support him no matter how socialist he becomes just because he's willing to put that (R) after his name.

  • John||

    If he votes the way you want him to when it matters, as in when you need his vote for something to pass, then that is just smart politics. The Democrats have done this for years. They would have some guy represent a conservative district and say all the right things and vote the right way just so long as it was in a losing cause. But when they needed his vote, he voted the way they told him to.

    It is a bullshit and infuriating dodge but one that voters have often bought.

  • damikesc||

    Remember that PA guy who was TOTALLY pro-life for decades...until the moment they needed his vote for Obamacare. Then the abortion nonsense in there wasn't THAT big of a deal to him.

    Good times.

  • Overt||

    Um, the climate change boat sank about two years ago. In the United States, it ranks so low on the list of priorities for most of the public that it isn't even worth worrying about. Sure, there are several loud and obnoxious people screaming about global warming, but 75% of the public tuned them out years ago, and they will continue to do so.

    So why would the GOP of all people be hopping on this band wagon? Oh look, Rep Carlos Curbelo's biggest donors are KKR & Co (Investment firm with holdings in renewable energy across the world) and NextEra Energy, "the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and the sun". (See Opensecrets.org).

    What a fucking shock.

  • John||

    Follow the money. And when the voters rise up and kick this moron out of office, he won't give a shit. He will just move on to a high paying do nothing job on Kstreet as a thank you for his contribution.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    And I would bet almost any amount of money I have that the Koch boys stand to profit big from such a scheme too, which is probably why they're pushing this bullcrap.

  • JFree||

    The Kochs - like most every uberrich person who involves themselves in developing any political agenda - profit both ways - from the status quo and from the specific proposed change. It's called rigging the game. Heads they win, tails they win.

    For most others - the only winning option is to force an entirely different game on a different field

  • JWatts||

    "The bill would repeal existing federal taxes on gasoline and aircraft fuels."

    It needs to include the phase out of all renewable subsidies.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Funny how we never talk about those externalities. Funny how we just ignore the spinning fossil fuel reserve in the background propping things up.

  • Just Say'n||

    Also, such a tax will increase the cost not just for fuel, but everything that relies on fuel. Most likely the largest impact will be food costs

  • Don't look at me.||

    But with no promises about not reinstatement of said taxes.

  • NoVaNick||

    Another tax on the poor-just like cigarette and soda taxes...Many studies have shown that less wealthy/educated people drive more to get to jobs and pay more to heat/cool their homes compared with urbanites who I am sure will benefit from this tax with more spending on light rail projects and of course jobs in NGOs and activist groups.

  • BYODB||


    "If the global atmosphere is a global commons owned by us all, why should not those who use this commons to dispose of their carbon emissions pay a user fee to compensate those who are affected,"


    But what do India and China think, since if they're not on board there's literally nothing we can do other than virtue signal...

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Do I get to charge everyone for the greening due to CO2 fertilization in the meantime? And if we ascribe all of the 20th century warming to CO2 (because the scientists voted) then do I get to charge society for the decline in cold-related deaths (which still outnumber heat related by over 2:1)?

    Let me guess, that's different.

  • JFree||

    You are free to take YOUR proposed remedy to a court of equity. Oh - I forgot - YOU don't think that option should exist since that option also allows other proposed remedies to be heard.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well that was sarcasm on my part but it's unsurprising that it went over your head.

  • JFree||

    YOU'RE the one who wants to get rid of the option available for anyone to use. And that ain't 'sarcasm' for you.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well, yes, I don't support mob rule.

  • JFree||

    You don't support natural law concepts either then.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    No, I don't support your religious inquisition.

  • hello.||

    Oh darn courts of equity don't exist. I guess we just need pure socialism.

    Kill yourself in an autoerotic suicide while you wack off to Loose Change you stupid paranoid conspiracy theorist dumbfuck shitstain on the human gene pool.

  • Whorton||

    Damn, you play for keeps!

  • BYODB||

    All good points, and one's I've raised often myself. A colder planet is much worse for just about everyone.

    That said, obviously I would question why people aren't more concerned about a lack of CO2 in our atmosphere given that it's much closer to a near total destruction of all life on Earth on the low end of the scale than it is to even theoretical harms on the high end.

    Go figure. I guess a lot of people forget that CO2 is a necessary trace gas that is at nearly unprecedented historic levels. At least, as far as we know that's true and the climate change bunch admit as much in many of their own papers even while they clutch their pearls.

    The question I think I like the ask the most is 'at what level of CO2 should the environment remain static at'...no one has an answer. Curious. My second favorite question is, 'how do we control the output of the sun'.

  • damikesc||

    A simple "Well, how warm SHOULD we be?" gets no answers.

    Proclaiming a crisis and not explaining, in any way, when we have "beaten" the crisis is just a way to insure a never-ending crisis.

    We never did win the War on Poverty, did we?

  • waxliberty||

    "A simple "Well, how warm SHOULD we be?" gets no answers."

    Hard to believe you don't get answers on this since it is simple, but just don't like them. Pretty basic biology, it's an adaptive world out there. Both human civ and existing ecosystems (which we rely on) adapted strongly to what appear to have been relatively stable Holocene conditions for thousands of years.

    The current warming is geologically sharp/fast. Pretty simple – without it, lots of negative impact that wouldn't exist. Reefs are great example systems, with ultimately significant ties to human economies.

  • Whorton||

    Interesting to note, Pearls would not exist were it not for Carbon Dioxide!

    www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pre.....earls.html

    In the meantime, let's not lose perspective on the fact that no one gets out of this world alive.

  • waxliberty||

    "Do I get to charge everyone for the greening due to CO2 fertilization in the meantime? "

    What economic value do you think derives from this?

    One, it's easier to roll it all into one externality estimate (net negative) and deal with that.

    Even for crops, the big hope, there's poor evidence for net positive... WGII "Based on many studies covering a wide range of regions and crops, negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts (high confidence)"

    Lobell et al 2011, "Climate Trends and Global Crop Production Since 1980"
    "Models that link yields of the four largest commodity crops to weather indicate that global maize and wheat production declined by 3.8 and 5.5%"

    Ruiz-Vera et al 2013, "Global Warming Can Negate the Expected CO2 Stimulation in Photosynthesis and Productivity for Soybean Grown in the Midwestern United States"
    "Elevated temperatures caused lower A, which was largely attributed to declines in stomatal conductance and intercellular [CO2] and led in turn to lower yields."

    Auffhammer et al 2010, "Climate change, the monsoon, and rice yield in India"
    "Climate change has evidently already negatively affected India's hundreds of millions of rice producers and consumers"

    Tao et al 2012 "Climate-crop yield relationships at province scale in China and the impacts of recent climate trend"
    "reduced wheat, maize and soybeanyields by 1.27, 1.73 and 0.41%, respectively"

    etc.

  • JFree||

    That's not true. Whether emissions/externalities are priced or just mandated - they will ultimately be incorporated into international trade laws/organizations as well. Which means that it will apply to all economies except autarkies

  • BYODB||

    If you want to look at price, sure, India and China are reaping profits by ignoring any and all environmental concerns which lets them undercut price. What's your point again? That the U.S. should...slap massive tariffs on their products?

  • JFree||

    The WTO already allows for those massive tariffs unilaterally-imposed for 'national security' type reasons. That's our current justification for using them. It also allows for those sorts of tariffs for environmental type reasons. Now that we have opened that door - bet HEAVILY on it being used - for that second reason - against us and the Chinas/Indias.

  • BYODB||

    Except the U.S. is already far more 'green' than those two nations, as well as most of the entire planet.

    And LOL at 'environmental tariffs' ever being leveled against China and India in any scale that would actually do anything to their domestic policies. Have you not been paying attention to the reception of any and all Trump tariffs? People don't want to actually pay more for anything in service of their environmental goals, it's just NIMBYism plain and simple.

    What planet do you live on? It ain't Earth.

  • hello.||

    Bear in mind this idiot is a 9/11 truther and thinks MS13 is a CIA psyop. Believe it or not this is actually one of his more coherent positions.

  • JFree||

    a 9/11 truther and thinks MS13 is a CIA psyop

    Hunh??? MS13 is an instrument of Salvadoran elites/military/etc. We (and not the CIA - our military) merely trained those military elements in all the skills they then transferred to MS13 - and provide the financial incentives for their elites to kill the uppity peasants.

    Have no fucking clue what you even mean by 9/11 truther. Are you one of them and just projecting?

  • JFree||

    Except the U.S. is already far more 'green' than those two nations, as well as most of the entire planet.

    So what? Our 'national security' is not actually threatened by our trade either. That is just the excuse for unilateral action. And it depends what you mean by 'green'. The US is the 2nd highest total emitter - and on a per capita basis is in the top 5. If Americans want to argue well if you account for how rich we are and how fast we grow and how much we like to drive and run AC and heat our homes, we are quite green don't be surprised to hear in return those all sound like YOUR problems not our problem followed by tariffs that are intended solely to harm our growth and change our habits.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The eco terrorists are going to attempt to punish us for our climate sins against mother gaia. The only solution is to submit to the will of allah gaia and give them everything they want while having no (or negative) impact on the environment.

    Hard to argue with such impeccable logic.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    All assuming that every economy applies exactly the same laws because purple.

  • damikesc||

    I can see why National Review thinks it is a good idea...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    As I have said before. The Democratic Party is dying and becomes the CPUSA. Former Democrats who are not Commies and SJWs move into the Republican Party and shift it hard Left.

  • Enemy of the State||

    What a load of statist bullshit. And from the small government Reps no less.

    Every tax is anti-libertarian...

  • waxliberty||

    'Every tax is anti-libertarian"

    Not under a rational definition of "liberty". Not a big mystery why there are no true anarchist societies.

  • Bob Armstrong||

    Any tax based on the notion that CO2 is a negative externality is extortion based on willful anti-science falsehood .

  • Whorton||

    I move that REASON magazine file a lawsuit.

  • Jayburd||

    Calm down peoples. The good news is you can pay your carbon tax or buy carbon credits with Bitcoin!

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