Dingell floats it; Boucher knocks it down
Hmm? What’s all this now? John Dingell is floating the possibility of a carbon tax? From CongressNow (sub. rqd.):
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who will play a key role in crafting the House version of comprehensive climate change legislation, on Wednesday night downplayed speculation that the House bill could include some form of a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.
Boucher, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce energy and air quality subcommittee, last night said that no decisions have been made about a carbon tax, despite comments by House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) yesterday that a carbon emissions “fee” may be necessary to affect climate change in addition to a cap-and-trade scheme.
“We’re going to have a discussion about exactly what that means,” Boucher told reporters last night when asked about Dingell’s remarks. “But cap-and-trade is probably the operating principle here. We have not made a final decision about any of this at this point, but a carbon tax frankly does not work for us.”
Dingell yesterday suggested that carbon fees could complement a cap-and-trade scheme, in which companies buy or trade pollution credits to meet a government-mandated cap on emissions.
“My own judgment is that we are going to adopt a cap-and-trade system and some form of carbon emission fee to achieve the reductions we need,” Dingell said when discussing climate change legislation he intends to bring up in September.
But Boucher said a carbon tax would not guarantee carbon dioxide reductions because many emitters would simply consider the tax a cost of doing business and continue to emit. “If you’re looking for certainty with the level of emission reductions, you have to have some sort of regulatory approach,” he said.
Um, well, a) not to contradict Mr. Boucher, but I believe the economic principle that taxing something discourages it is fairly well established, and b) holy shit Dingell is talking about a carbon tax?!
I’m going to dig into this more tomorrow.