From Rep. John Larson
Love the carbon tax but can’t stand Dingell? Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) is your man. He just introduced a kick-ass carbon tax bill (PDF) to the House.
From Greenwire ($ub req’d):
Larson’s legislation would set a $15 tax in its first year for every ton of carbon dioxide emissions from the oil, gas and coal industries, with the tax rising 10 percent annually while also keeping pace with inflation. Larson’s office also released a memo (PDF) saying the tax would be “easy to implement and administer” by covering about 2,000 oil refineries, coal processing plants and other points where fossil fuels are imported.
Addressing concerns that a carbon tax does not guarantee reductions in heat-trapping emissions, Larson predicted the tax would drive down Americans’ demand for fossil fuels and lead to a 12.1 percent cut in greenhouse gases per decade. That goal lines up with the 80 percent emission cut by mid-century that many scientists say is necessary to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change.
The bill, H.R. 3416, also would create an “Energy Security Trust Fund” that funnels the billions of dollars in revenue toward energy production that comes without carbon emissions, as well as transition assistance for industries and a cut in the payroll tax. For new energy technologies, the bill dedicates $10 billion — or one-sixth of the tax’s revenues — to tax credits for research and development in wind, hydrogen fuel cells, solar and other zero-emission alternatives to fossil fuel.
Companies and individuals that capture and sequester their carbon dioxide emissions would also get a refundable tax credit under Larson’s legislation.
And he’s not the only one:
In April, Reps. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) proposed a $10-per-ton tax on the carbon content when the fuel is either extracted or imported — with a $10-per-year increase every year until the Energy Department and Internal Revenue Service determine U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have dropped 80 percent from 1990 levels.
I know some enviros prefer cap-and-trade on the merits, usually because of its alleged “emissions certainty” (as opposed to the carbon tax’s alleged price certainty). I kind of think that argument’s bogus, something I’ll return to in coming days.
But for those who prefer carbon tax on the merits, Larson’s proposal seems like a good one. So why not go out and starting raising support for it? Why not call your legislator? No better time than the present, right?