Republicans Push Carbon Taxes

“Madness is rare in individuals, but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes smart people can be astonishingly ignorant, and self-serving.  Not that an environmental policy as a tool of wealth redistribution is new but pretending that a carbon tax will reduce greenhouse gas emissions demonstrates astonishing ignorance or deep cynicism – take your pick.

There are those on the right, while small in number, who are well funded and tied at the hip to prominent left-wing global warming activists.  And, both have the same goal – to turn a left-wing talking point into a Republican Party plank. 

In July of 2018 Republican Congressmen Carlos Curbelo of Florida and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania pitched a so-called “revenue neutral” carbon tax of $24 on every metric ton of carbon dioxide gas emitted, with annual raises at 2% above inflation, which would somehow magically make all emissions disappear – someday.   They claimed that the tax would offset existing federal taxes thus lowering our tax burden while ending global warming.  About the only thing I see as realistic in that statement is ending global warming which wouldn’t be hard since it doesn’t exist.  Anyone who claims a tax is revenue neutral is a liar.

Curbelo called his bill the “Market Choice Act,” which was ironic since there was no choice for consumers, only a massive new tax increase.  The tax burden would have fallen heavily on petroleum products like gas, diesel, natural gas and coal, driving up the cost of utilities, manufacturing and agriculture which consumers will end up paying for.   HR 6463 was sent to the Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit in August of last year and hopefully that is where it will die.

Former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz proposed an escalating $40 per ton carbon tax on businesses in 2017, even promising to “give away the entire proceeds of the tax” to anyone with a Social Security number, hoping that the lure of free money would get wary Republicans on board.

They pushed their scheme based on a report, The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends,  by the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), a Washington based advocacy group for carbon tax conservatives.  Honestly, how conservative can they be when they are funded by left-wing organizations like the Packard, Moore, Rockefeller, and MacArthur Foundations, or staffed by former Federal Reserve Chairs Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, and former Energy Secretary Steven Chur and Michael Bloomberg? 

The Climate Leadership Council (CLC) has set their sights on a carbon tax after the 2020 elections, when they defeat Trump with money from their PAC, “Americans for Carbon Dividends” co-chaired by former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi and former Democratic Senator John Breaux of Louisiana.  The PAC itself is funded by Exxon, Shell, BP, etc. presumably because they have been promised protection from climate related lawsuits which you know those greedy left-wing ambulance chasers already have prepared.

To be fair to all, John McCain and Joe Lieberman were actually the first to introduce cap and trade legislation through the Climate Stewardship Act in 2003 and reintroduced it in 2005 and 2007.  And if you remember both Obama and McCain ran on cap and trade platforms during the 2008 election cycle.

America does not need a Carbon Tax.  A 2018 report from Energy Depth shows that America has reduced carbon emissions by 14% mainly because we use a lot more natural gas to produce electricity.   A June 2018 report by BP showed that emissions fell by 42 million tons in the first year of the Trump presidency, a larger drop than any other country, even those nations who are already stealing money from their citizens via carbon taxation. 

The energy experts at the Heritage Foundation crunched the numbers and found that by 2030, based on a $37 per-ton carbon tax, we would experience a loss of  GDP of more than $2.5 trillion, or $21,000 in income reduction per family, and about 1 million jobs would vanish.  The shale energy revolution that has rebuilt the economies in states like Alaska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia would come to a screeching halt. 

The left’s argument that a carbon tax will cause people to use less oil, natural gas or coal is nuts.  Energy is not like other commodities – it is the foundational components of all commodities and our options are limited – Wind and Solar are unreliable and far too expensive. 

Our power grid requires a constant flow of electrons, of which 63% comes from fossil fuels, 20% from nuclear, and about 7% from hydroelectric. Wind and solar combined provide only 7.6% and even then that number is deceptive.  Wind and solar are intermittent, so they require baseload sources, mostly natural gas, to keep the electricity flowing when they aren’t performing. There is currently no economic way to store electricity so it can be used when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.  And then there is the fact that manufacturing, transporting and maintaining wind and solar installations requires considerable amounts of fossil fuel.

The key ingredients in renewable energy technologies are rare earth minerals which require a large amount fossil fuel to extract them. Drastically scaling up the number of wind turbines and solar panels will drive up the price of everything else that uses rare earths, such as all of our electronic devices. And then there is the really big problem; China owns 90% of all rare earth mines.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”   Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Source:  The Myth of a Conservative Carbon Tax: Environmentalists Infiltrate, by Hayden Ludwig is a Research Analyst at Capital Research Center;   The Curbelo Carbon Tax as Wealth Redistribution, National Review; Carbon tax economists profoundly ignorant and/or cynical, by Mark Mathis, CFacts; The Economic Argument for a Carbon Tax Is a Work of Fiction, Mises Inst.;

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