Proposed Carbon Taxes Set to Spike Energy Costs

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 7, 2012 | Go to article overview

Proposed Carbon Taxes Set to Spike Energy Costs


Byline: Kerri Toloczko, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Rep. Jim McDermott, Washington Democrat, rose to national prominence during his controversial 2002 trip to Baghdad, where he claimed the Iraqi government was more trustworthy than his president. More recently, he stated he was tired of reading the Constitution. It appears he also is tired of reading complaints of rising fuel prices, as he has proposed a carbon tax that, according to some analysts, could add nearly $9,000 to a family's energy costs in the next decade.

The Managed Carbon Price Act of 2012 would impose a carbon tax on fossil fuels essential for the pursuit of our individual and collective happiness and economic prosperity. The tax would rise exponentially in coming years, with no cap, in a specious attempt to cover the federal deficit.

Carbon-emission reduction is controlled by regulation and energy subsidies in the tax code. Costly mandates and voluntary private-sector action brought U.S. emissions to the lowest levels in 20 years, and they are still falling rapidly.

Proponents claim replacing carbon subsidies with carbon taxes would result in accelerating emission reductions, but some pro-green-energy analysts disagree. California's Breakthrough Institute has long supported subsidy reform and government spending on renewables, but its experts have determined that carbon taxes would decrease emissions marginally with an economic cost that could reach 900 percent more than current subsidies.

A study by the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at Massachusetts Institute of Technology also reviewed replacing subsidies with taxes, determining that without best-case economic growth, emissions would decrease only slightly more than current assessments. Would subsidies really go away if taxes were imposed?

Revenue neutral is a taxation lie of the highest order, including when applied to carbon taxes.

Mr. McDermott's bill directs the U.S. Treasury to set the price of carbon emissions. Energy producers and users would then purchase carbon permits. (No provision actually mandates government to issue such permits.) Businesses could only purchase permits seven days before specific production activity, leaving them with massive consumption analysis and paperwork costs and at the mercy of government bureaucrats likely to operate with all the speed, efficiency and humanity of the DMV.

Carbon-tax supporters claim revenue neutrality because 75 percent of revenues would go into a carbon-tax government lockbox, which then would send monthly carbon-tax offset refunds to all American adults - a cash transfer from American employers to its citizens, with government as the arbiter. …

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