>>Christian Science Monitor likes a carbon tax, high gas prices
May 14, 2008, 6:34 pm
Filed under: Policy

An editorial in today’s Christian Science Monitor endorses a national carbon tax over cap-and-trade, noting that Sweden’s carbon tax has led that nation to cut emissions 9% while making its private sector a world leader in clean tech.

World oil markets are doing the US a favor by imposing a form of tax that challenges energy profligacy and disregard for the planet’s future. A gas price threshold has now been reached to influence behavior. SUV sales are down. Mass transit ridership and carpooling are up. More people want to live closer to work.

What do these lifestyle-altering trends signal? That Congress must impose a “carbon” tax on fossil-fuel use, from electric utilities to home furnaces to gas-guzzling vehicles.

Such a tax is a better tool than the alternative favored in Congress: a “cap and trade” system that would force only industries to curb greenhouse gases while allowing cleaner companies to sell permits to more polluting ones. The system is complex, inflexible, and easily abused.

A carbon tax (with progressive rebates for the poor) would directly make lawmakers accountable for taking action on global warming, while providing revenue for innovation in clean energy. In a February report, the Congressional Budget Office found a carbon tax would be five times more effective in reducing carbon emissions than a cap-and-trade market.

Great read. Check it out.


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