There’s a new push on to institute a carbon tax in America.

This is folly.  Bi-partisan folly.

The carbon tax folks have compiled a large list of economists and past public office-holders in support, with some pretty impressive names on board.    The names include such heavy-hitters as Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, Janet Yellen, George Shultz, Lawrence Summers and many more.

Two Florida Congressmen, Democrat Ted Deutch and Republican Francis Rooney, announced they are planning to introduce a carbon tax bill with the money raised paid out as “rebates” to individuals.

Never has so much brain power been so wrong.

As Mark Mathis posted at CFACT.org:

The idea of a tax on carbon is that it will cause people to use smaller amounts of oil, natural gas, and coal while driving innovation in the energy sector. But there’s a big problem with this kind of blindered thinking. Energy is not like any other commodity. It is the foundational component of all commodities and our options are extremely limited…

What supplemental energy technologies are available (wind and solar) are unreliable and more expensive. Even attempting to reduce our use of oil, natural gas and coal by a modest amount is a gigantically expensive proposition that will cause many more problems than it will solve. Pretending that a carbon tax will advance the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions demonstrates astonishing ignorance or deep cynicism, take your pick. 

Any economic shift from free exchange to central planning is always suspect.  A move as all-pervasive and expensive as carbon taxation is doubly so.

The up-front economic damage carbon taxation would do is vast.  Moreover, does anyone truly believe that if we grant government this much massive new power and revenue, that it will stay within the limits initially promised?

Whether we call it carbon pricing, or more accurately carbon taxation, the correct adjective is dangerous.

Author

  • Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.