Could the unthinkable become thinked?
Over on MyDD, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) discusses the carbon tax bill he recently introduced.
My legislation, the Save Our Climate Act (H.R. 2069), would tax coal, petroleum and natural gas at a rate of $10 per ton of carbon content. Applied when these fossil fuels are initially removed from the ground, the tax would increase by $10 each year, freezing when a mandated report by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Energy determines that carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 80 percent from 1990 levels.
As far as I know, this is the first real carbon tax bill put into play in Congress. Naturally it has no chance of passing, but remember, it’s all about moving the Overton window.
Meanwhile, the editors at The New Republic think a carbon tax is peachy, and that Dems should start trying to shift the grounds of the debate:
Even if Bush does sign a cap-and-trade bill, it will almost certainly be one that is too weak to make a real dent in the problem. And Democrats and moderate Republicans do not have the votes to override a Bush veto. So real progress on the issue is not likely to happen until January 2009. Two years is a long time, and, with the conversation on global warming shifting so rapidly, the unthinkable could soon become quite feasible. In other words, laying the groundwork now for a carbon tax is a sound idea.
See also this Reuters analysis — the gist is that most everyone agrees a tax would work better, and in a few years all the carbon trading boosters are going to see the light.