Today in the Washington Post, Rep. John Dingell has an op-ed arguing on behalf of a carbon tax:
I apparently created a mini-storm last month when I observed publicly for at least the sixth time since February that some form of carbon emissions fee or tax (including a gasoline tax) would be the most effective way to curb carbon emissions and make alternatives economically viable. …
A carbon tax or fee has been endorsed by President Bush’s former chief economic adviser, Greg Mankiw; Nobel Prize-winning conservative economist Gary Becker; the chief executive of the largest U.S. auto-dealer chain, Mike Jackson; and several environmental organizations. From Alan Greenspan to Greenpeace, many recognize its utility.
There may be disagreements as to the proper level or the best use of revenue. The United Mine Workers support a fuel-based fee that would fund carbon sequestration. Others have suggested using the revenue to reduce Social Security taxes. Congress must hash out the details.
I don’t expect to overcome ideological Republican opposition to all forms of taxation, but if CEOs, economists, environmentalists and citizens speak out, we could effect real change. I don’t pretend to speak for my party on this; I’m trying to speak to common sense and experience.
It is very much an open question whether the structure of the bill Dingell puts forward next week will meet with my approval, or yours. And it’s an open question whether it stands any chance of passing.
But surely this — an op-ed in one of the nation’s most prominent media outlets — puts to rest the question of whether Dingell actually supports the tax on substantive grounds. He clearly does.