Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Are we at the "then they fight you" stage?

I think it's promising that climate denialists in Congress feel a need to actively fight against carbon taxes and a "fee and dividend" proposed legislation. Given that the legislation has zero shot of passing before 2017, I'm glad that the forces of status quo feel the need to fight it.

The article at the first link is good but flawed, with the incorrect and uncited statement, "Economists favor a carbon tax over cap-and-trade as more efficient and transparent". A tax gives greater certainty on costs but less on carbon emissions than cap-and-trade. It's a less efficient and less transparent way to achieve a proposed level of emissions, but more efficient and more transparent way to demonstrate the costs.

This part's good:
most new versions of the tax, including Boxer/Sanders, would include a border tariff on the carbon content of imports that is equivalent to the tax. That would create a big incentive for exporting countries like China to impose their own carbon tax so as to keep the revenue. 
Opponents clearly think the idea is gaining traction and want to stop it before it gets too far.
I'm looking forward to seeing something similar in Europe and Australia, providing the same incentive to us that we'd like to provide to China. I do think though that at least half of the revenue from an import tariff from a developing country should be sent back to exporter to help reduce their emissions.