In February, a group of high-profile Republicans announced their support for a plan that would tax carbon-dioxide emissions in order to slow global warming, which they believe to be caused by humans. According to the group, which is led by former Secretaries of State James Baker III and George Shultz and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, their plan would tax fossil-fuel companies and redistribute the funds back to Americans in equal portions, thereby artificially raising the price of fossil fuels and making renewable-energy sources more competitive.
Now, left-wing climate alarmists are seizing on this idea, which some say is the only policy idea attempting to limit fossil fuels the American people and the Trump administration would be willing to support. Climate alarmists have long advocated for a carbon tax, in varying forms, as one possible solution to the purported global warming crisis.
In a recent interview with the Scientific American, noted climate alarmist James Hansen, which the article refers to as the “father of climate change awareness,” said the plan promoted by Republicans is similar to one he developed in 2008 and would be “popular” with the American people.
“The only effective way of addressing climate change is to make the price of fossil fuels include their cost to society,” said Hansen. “That could be done in a simple way by collecting a fee from the fossil fuel companies that would gradually rise over time—a carbon fee and dividend. …
“I call it a carbon fee because you would give all of the money to the public, a dividend to each legal resident,” Hansen said. “ have adopted almost precisely as I proposed it in 2008. The starting level of the fee varies from one proposition to another—I believe that they start at $40 per ton of carbon. suggest $55 per ton— yields a dividend of $1,000 per legal resident and $3,000 for a family with two or more children, with one half-share for each child a maximum of two half-shares per family.”
Hansen claims by imposing the tax and then redistributing the money to consumers, the increased price of gasoline would be offset, and Americans would be happy having received thousands of extra dollars from the government.
“This way it actually stimulates the economy,” Hansen said. “If it’s a tax taken by the government, it makes the government bigger and it depresses the economy. That’s why I object to the Democrats as much as to the Republicans. The only way the public will allow a carbon fee is if you give the money to them—people don’t want to see the price of gasoline at the pump going up.”
The Washington Post reported on April 4 sources inside the Trump administration say the president is considering including a carbon tax as one way to help raise revenues. The Post also reported the sources claimed the carbon tax proposal is very controversial and that some within the administration are staunchly opposed to it.
Carbon taxes are viewed by many on the left as an easy way to price fossil fuels out of the marketplace, making renewable energy comparably more affordable. Opponents of the plan say it’s another form of socialistic wealth distribution that will dramatically raise energy costs. Opponents say energy costs will increase not only because of the tax, but also because energy companies will raise prices across the board knowing that all consumers have more money to spend, thanks to carbon-tax dividends.