Year 2, Month 8, Day 21: In The Country Of The Crazy And Stupid…

In August 4th’s Quincy Patriot-Ledger (MA), D.R. Tucker discusses the eminently sensible fee-and-dividend approach to taxing carbon emissions:

In mid-June, more than 80 members of the Citizens Climate Lobby met with House and Senate members to seek support for a market-based, revenue-neutral solution. Under their proposal, known as “fee and dividend,” a gradually increasing fee would be charged on coal, oil and natural gas at the point of origin or import.

The fee would be set initially at $15 per ton of carbon dioxide in the fuel.

Proceeds would be distributed as dividend checks to the public directly.

This fee will increase the cost of fossil fuels, but the dividend checks will reduce the impact on working families.

The state economy will reap benefits from increased investment in energy conservation and establishment of new companies developing renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. This proposal will create local jobs in energy conservation and renewable energy.

This revenue-neutral approach to addressing climate change is politically neutral, easing progressives’ concerns about the manipulation of emissions trading in cap-and-trade and assuaging conservatives’ fears about increasing the federal government’s role.

It’s the right action to take, a move that will pay dividends simultaneously to the consumer, the state economy and the environment.

“Eminently sensible” = doomed. Sent August 4:

Mr. Tucker’s prescription for an economically and environmentally sane climate policy is exactly correct. Unfortunately, as events over the past decade have demonstrated time and time again, sanity appears undervalued by our representatives in politics. If a fee-and-dividend approach to carbon emissions is to have a chance of succeeding, our print and broadcast media must do their job. The “balanced” model, with every scientifically informed expert countered by a paid shill from the petroleum industry, is both an intellectual and an environmental disaster. By convincing a plurality of Americans that the science “isn’t settled,” this approach has drastically degraded the quality of the discussion, bringing progress on environmental issues to an absolute standstill. The Jeffersonian ideal of a “well-informed citizenry” is crucial for a functioning democracy; when reporting on a threat as significant as climate change, our media must abandon irresponsible “false equivalency,” and rededicate itself to reporting scientific truth.

Warren Senders

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