A group of Republican elder statesmen is calling for a tax on carbon emissions to fight climate change. The group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr., a former secretary of the Treasury, says that taxing carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels is “a conservative climate solution” based on free-market principles.
It would be a neutral tax, that is, the funds collected would be disbursed among American families.
The tax would be collected where the fossil fuels enter the economy, such as the mine, well or port; the money raised would be returned to consumers in what the group calls a “carbon dividend” amounting to an estimated $2,000 a year for the average family of four.This is a description of their plan:
First, the federal government would impose a gradually increasing tax on carbon dioxide emissions. It might begin at $40 per ton and increase steadily. This tax would send a powerful signal to businesses and consumers to reduce their carbon footprints.
Second, the proceeds would be returned to the American people on an equal basis via quarterly dividend checks. With a carbon tax of $40 per ton, a family of four would receive about $2,000 in the first year. As the tax rate rose over time to further reduce emissions, so would the dividend payments.
Third, American companies exporting to countries without comparable carbon pricing would receive rebates on the carbon taxes they’ve paid on those products, while imports from such countries would face fees on the carbon content of their products. This would protect American competitiveness and punish free-riding by other nations, encouraging them to adopt their own carbon pricing.
Finally, regulations made unnecessary by the carbon tax would be eliminated, including an outright repeal of the Clean Power Plan.Libertarian conservatives at the Cato Institute have also called for a carbon tax.
This is a similar kind of carbon tax, or carbon "fee", which has succeeded in British Columbia.
Republicans, libertarian conservatives, Canadians, California, the International Monetary Foundation, are all calling for a carbon tax. It's really the best, the only, way to save our civilization. It must be implemented as soon as possible to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Unfortunately I don't see a way for that happening with Donald Trump in the Presidency.