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Carbon Tax

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Clprenz, Mar 6, 2014.

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Do You support a carbon Tax

  1. Yes

    36 vote(s)
    53.7%
  2. No

    11 vote(s)
    16.4%
  3. Depends on specifics

    10 vote(s)
    14.9%
  4. You should tax more than Gasoline!

    10 vote(s)
    14.9%
  1. Clprenz

    Clprenz Member

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    Who is in support of a Carbon Tax through Gasoline? I've been working on a plan for Normal IL for a couple of months. Who would think that a tax of $.06 per gallon of gas a good idea?
     
  2. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    Is this poll intended for U.S. citizens only? :rolleyes:
     
  3. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    BC has one, and it has NOT sent the economy into a tailspin! The FUD is nonsense!
     
  4. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    Let's put aside the tears and emotions aside for one second and let's look what a carbon tax is. A carbon tax, essentially states that the polluter must bear the cost of the pollution they create. It is agnostic towards the source of the pollution created: in cars, in factories, in power plants.

    In order to figure out whether or not you support a carbon tax, ask yourself two questions:

    1. Do you agree or not, with the overwhelming scientific evidence that carbon pollution is creating a climate change, which is disrupting life on earth.
    2. Do you agree or not, that greenhouse gases from industrial means are indeed pollution, that the cost of pollution should be beared by polluter?

    If you agreed with both my questions, then you support a carbon tax. Carbon pollution has a cost, we bear it in habitat loss, agriculture loss, rising sea levels, stronger storms and droughts, heatwaves, and other climatic anomalies. If you agree with the overwhelming scientific evidence, then you agree that this is real and has real costs to humanity and the life on this planet. And by the way, my personal stance on climate change is not born out of trust for scientists, or a "belief" in the idea, but from reading a good number of scientific papers and understanding the work of thousands of scientists who research this for a living. I hope you also understand the actual evidence, the means that scientists used in discovering global warming, and it is so worrisome for the future. Also understand the denier arguments and why they suck.
     
  5. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    It may also help to clarify that it is a tax swap. Yes – one form of taxation is indeed increased. But the added revenue through a carbon tax can be used to decrease other forms of taxation.
     
  6. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    Why only for gasoline? It could also help to support renewable power generation if any carbon emission is taxed.

    And it should be similar for cars using natural gas, for example.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    A couple of Canadian elections ago, the Liberal candidate for Prime Minister put forward a carbon tax plan. He said it was "revenue neutral". The Conservatives went on the attack with all kinds of FUD and the Liberals handily lost the election.

    Now the FUD was largely unwarranted. If you drop income tax, for example, and raise a carbon tax an equal amount you'll send a nice strong signal to the market that will automatically give you pretty optimal reductions in carbon output. That's how almost all economists would recommend solving the problem of an unpriced externality, aka a tragedy of the commons.

    However there was one thing about the Liberal plan that really frustrated me. They claimed the plan was "revenue neutral". I read the details and it wasn't. Some of the money raised was to be spent on social programs. That's "tax and spend" not "revenue neutral"!!!

    Unfortunately while a carbon tax is probably the right course of action, actually getting it implemented - and properly - is challenging to say the least.
     
  8. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    I voted to extend the carbon tax. Why stop at Gasoline? I know - because there is already a scheme in place to collect the money.
    So what if everyone goes CNG? or Diesel? The intention is to tax carbon from fossil sources that is released to the atmosphere as CO2, and as a consequence, you must tax these fuels, too.
    Then there is the problem of imported carbon. Let's assume you get fresh fish trucked in from the east coast and it is cheaper than the one fished from Lake Michigan. Local fishermen groan on carbon tax for their ship fuel which makes their prices rise over the trucked in stuff. So to level the field - and to have your tax effectively cut emissions - you must tax fish that is trucked into the state.
    This can quickly get out of hand. The solution would be to tax carbon on a larger scale: national, NAFTA, WTO or global.
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, like THAT will ever happen!
     
  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Specifics

    Revenue neutral is important. There can be argument about how the money is distributed, but ultimately 0-sum that's the best way to get it through.

    Also, I wouldn't bother justifying it with AGW, I'm satisfied encouraging energy efficiency, which will have the same effect.
     
  11. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I was at a sustainable transportation seminar the other day and one of the presenters put up a slide showing that bicycles contribute more to the CO2 problem than electric vehicles do... unless the cyclist is a vegetarian. I suppose we'll need a carbon tax on bicycles too!
     
  12. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    Why wouldn’t it?

    Taxation in Sweden has steadily declined for seven years in a row. And hasn’t taxation in the U.S. either declined or remained steady since the Clinton Administration?
     
  13. evme

    evme Member

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    Taxation in the US became lower at federal level since then actually. But taxation at state level went up.

    The biggest issue is lobbies. Lobbying is the biggest waste of tax dollars as money is thrown away on useless things. But that becomes indifferent as they just add debt.
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That's silly. The problem is the consumption of beef, not using a bicycle. (Full disclosure: I like beef.)
     
  15. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    That's ridiculous. Human breathing is completely accounted for in the carbon cycle. When we exhale, we are only giving back the carbon we borrowed (from eating) and that same carbon goes back into plants via photosynthesis, and plants are consumed by animals, which we eat. It's a cycle. What isn't accounted for, is unearthing and burning dead plants that have been in the ground for millions of years. Then, you will see an increase in carbon dioxide levels because there isn't enough plantlife to take back the extra CO2 via photosynthesis. That is essentially an uncontrolled, surplus budget of carbon. Which is partially dissolved by the oceans, but also partially stays in the atmosphere. When this happens, you would expect carbon dioxide levels to increase in the atmosphere. And they have.
     
  16. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    I'm sure the tax credit for EV's covers the difference. ;)

    But did he also present a calculation of the number (with a reasonable carbon tax, for example $1 per year for an average bicycle?). In order for the whole thing to be revenue neutral, bicycles should probably receive a subsidy which would be much larger than the carbon tax.

    So maybe your point is that it would be impractical to tax *all* carbon producers? Sure, however for example cars using natural gas could definitely be taxed as well (for example via the natural gas itself), and certainly coal power plants, also probably some types of larger factories. That would actually be the point of it, in my opinion.
     
  17. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    All the secondary effects would be caught if you tax every fossil fuel usage at the source.

    The goal is to de-carbonize our economy not de-meat or de-cycle. Everyone going up the latter branches is trying to fear monger the carbon tax attempt.
     
  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I think the slide was just meant to be a little humorous opening icebreaker, but if you think about it, it really is the "fuel" we're talking about. If there is a carbon tax on gasoline, then why not beef or other carbon intensive aspects of food processing like the transportation of non-local foods. Riding a bicycle certainly consumes more calories than a human would otherwise burn, and if those extra calories have a carbon component to them, what's the difference between that and other "fuels" (from a carbon tax perspective).

    - - - Updated - - -

    As above, I believe it's the "fuel" we're talking about. Even the biggest, most obnoxious Hummer is not a carbon emitter if it is never fuelled and driven (okay, aside from the manufacturing impacts).

    - - - Updated - - -

    But why? I thought the beef industry was a huge offender in this regard?
     
  19. J1mbo

    J1mbo Member

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    I disagree with a Carbon tax. CO2 is only a small part of the story when it comes to pollution and environmental impact. Far better to have a broader remit - call it a pollution tax.

    Everything we consume except food should have a pollution index based on something indisputable, like a spectral analysis of composition. The various weighting factors for each component in the analysis would be internationally agreed, with the aim of coming up with an index value for the item. Pure water would be 0, CFCs and coal perhaps 80, etc.

    The pollution tax would factor in things like the cost to the domestic economy, cost of recycling, etc. The aim would be to make the most polluting things uneconomic, incentivising development of less polluting alternatives. Income from the tax would be used to offset the environmental impact where possible.
     
  20. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    If it's like some such studies, it also ignores the fact that much of that CO2 is generated by the mere fact of keeping the cyclist alive.
     

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