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Comments about ‘Readers' forum: Tax use of fossil fuels’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 9 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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Esquire
Springville, UT

There are some good ideas here. The thing is, we need to get serious about this problem and not keep bowing to the established special interests who want to preserve the status quo. Had we taken our current approach in the past, we would be living in clouds of coal emissions (see Dickens) and our food would more often be adulterated (see Sinclair Lewis). Let's move forward, folks.

higv
Dietrich, ID

Another way to hinder progression. thing is were will the money come from when people don't use things because of higher taxes? The air is perfectly clean right now just another way to control lives.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Ben J. Mates" I think that you are a little bit late on asking for a tax on fossil fuels that are burned.

The majority of fossil fuels that are burned comes in the form of gasoline and diesel fuels. Those already are taxed based on consumption by both the Federal and State Governments.

If you want to clean up the air from the power plants, lets get a bunch of new nuclear power plants up and running. They can be the most resource friendly power source out there.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

@higv: Look up "externality" in any basic economic text. Free markets only allocate resources efficiently when the cost of a product to a consumer captures all of the costs of its production and use. Externaliized costs create market failure because price sends incomplete signals to the consumer. As the letter writer correctly pointed out, fossil fuels are underpriced because the cost to the consumer (paid at the pump, say) does not reflect the true cost of the product. In effect, consumers are being subsidized. There are many ways to internalize external costs so that market price more accurately reflects actual cost. Taxes on emissions, programs such as Cap and Trade, and commodity markets dealing in pollution credits are some. Some are better than others. Polluting producers can internalize costs by installing pollution controls. But unless all players in an industry do the same thing, the conscientious producers will be at a competitive disadvantage because they will have higher prices compared to their less conscientious competitors who do not act to internalize their costs. As Garrett Harden observed in "The Tragedy of the Commons," conscience is self-eliminating.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Why is China spending twice as much on green tech as we are?

How does Brazil have en economy based mostly on renewable resources?

We have a lot of catching up to do....

Esquire
Springville, UT

@ higv, the air is perfectly clean in a rural Idaho town of 200. That may be so. But maybe you need to get out a little. And maybe you should take note of how things were in the past before there were efforts to clean up the environment. Years ago I was in an industrial town in France and the air pollution from a local factory was so bad that a brief visit would leave black particulates in ones eyes and nostrils. I remember the Cuyahoga River catching on fire. We can go on and on, so I say, if the government can cause industry to not pollute and take us to better sources of energy, I'm all for it.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

We already pay taxes on fossil fuels. Its called federal and state gasoline and diesel taxes and depending on which state you live in they are between %.75/ gal and about $.30/gal. Would you have us pay double taxes? Of course you would!

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Fossel fuels are a finite resource that will run out, and are a fuel that when we buy it goes to countries and parts of the world that support terrorism.

Given that, we ought to waste less and use them more efficiently.

Double the taxes on oil, but at the end of the year, give this money back to the American people, in the form of a check for every one that lives here.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@higv

This plan calls for giving 100% of the money collected back to the taxpayers in the form of a subsidy. So the only people who would pay more in the end for energy are energy hogs. Those who use very little energy might actually be getting money from this plan.

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

Thanks to Bob Bennett and the one that filled his seat, Mike Lee, along with their "puppet master", the Koch Brother's, our current combustion of fuels brings with it the cumulative costs of treating respiratory and other diseases, waging war to secure energy resources all around the Middle East, smog, acid rain, and species extinction not to mention the astronomical costs of climate disasters. Ani't capitalism grand?.

That's why it's really going to heat up in Washington DN come 2012, as these Tea Party and GOP plus RINO's slide their feet cross the floor, as they head for the door, all voted out like Bob Bennett.

Merry Christmas.

Happy New Year.

higv
Dietrich, ID

What is worse fossil fuel spells or the smell of Manure from farms. Pocatello has a place that causes things not to smell good in town too. There are a few bad smells . Good thing people make things cleaner. And I am glad there is fossil fuels to drive our cars around. Somone knows something about some of the small towns on here as well.

KM
Cedar Hills, UT

First I think we have to be honest about the premise of the letter; its "global warming" not "global climate change." Because there was the need to re-phrase the original lie because the climate gets warmer and then gets cooler, and has done this for time immemorial. So it became necessary to play both sides of the fence to cover all the bases for the marxist redistribution program of the progressives. Whew! Its so twisted.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@KM
The change from using the term global warming to global climate change doesn't mean it's not warming or that global warming is a lie. It's just that there's so much more to climate than the thermometer. There's sea ice extent, and flood/drought frequency, and a host of other things. It's not just "oh so it'll be a degree warmer?". That's why they switched to climate change; because it's a term that covers all the other aspects as well.

Corn Dog
New York, NY

@The Real Maverick | 9:10 a.m

China is spending 20 times as much on new fossil fuel facilities as they are on green tech.

Most of Brazil's renewable energy (34% of total energy) comes from hydropower. How many new dams do you want to put on the Colorado, Yampa, and Green rivers?

Dektol
Powell, OH

Tax them higher and watch your food costs skyrocket. Modern farming relies on fossil fuels from preparation to harvest to delivery to market. Adding more taxes is shooting yourselves in the foot.

KM
Cedar Hills, UT

atl134
I'll have to take your word that you are seriously sincere. Now, who started the Chicago Climate Exchange, and why?

KM
Cedar Hills, UT

I meant the Chicago Carbon Exchange.

Esquire - Did you really say "bowing" when talking about fossil fuels? We do have the 'bower-in-chief', you know?

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@KM
"who started the Chicago Carbon Exchange, and why? "

Don't know, I've never heard of it. I'm much more interested in the science anyway. The politics of energy/environmental policy is a different issue.

Benjaman
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@KM
The solution proposed is not cap and trade (a la Chicago Climate Exchange), but a much simpler and more transparent fee-and-dividend proposal which would not increase the size of government. Rather, it would return all revenues to households in equal measure. Those who use less carbon would pay less upfront, and would receive their share of the fees on carbon in return. There would be an incentive for businesses to be more energy efficient and development and implementation of cleaner technologies would be stimulated. Renewables are already very close to being competitive, and with a slight push they could be the preferred choice of energy sources.

Benjaman
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Like higv, Dektol, RedShirt and Mountanman and the rest of the world, I do not want to pay any unnecessary taxes. We already pay taxes for the pollution-related healthcare costs of those who can't afford insurance, an immense military budget, FEMA and the regulation of pollution. All of these taxes would be defrayed or even eliminated with a tax on carbon. I stand by my statement that a carbon fee and dividend makes sense in terms of both economy and quality of life.

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