Michigan Rep. John Dingell (D) has drafted a carbon-tax bill and posted a summary to his website to solicit public feedback. In its current form, Dingell’s legislation would phase in over five years a $50-per-ton tax on carbon and a tax of 50 cents per gallon on gasoline and jet fuel (after five years the tax would be indexed to inflation). The bill would also phase out tax deductions for homes over 3,000 square feet. A carbon tax is beloved by economists and other wonks as the most transparent, efficient means of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. Voters, however, tend to hate the idea, and thus most politicians do as well. The 81-year-old Dingell, who has served in Congress for 52 years and chairs the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has been accused of pushing “political poison” in order to torpedo other climate bills that include boosts in CAFE standards. He denies it, but then again, he says this: “I’m trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it’s going to have a measure of pain that you’re not going to like.” The man sure knows how to excite voters!

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