An economic benefit of a fee-and-dividend carbon tax

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Bob Speiser Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2014 7:58 p.m.

    It's sad to see such animosity in print among the comments here. Climate change -- global warming -- isn't an opinion. It's a fact that all of us can see. Not just a a huge consensus among climate scientists. A majority of American voters, as poll after poll has shown, now feels that we need to take drastic, decisive steps to curb greenhouse emissions.

    Denial and animosity won't help. We need to map ways forward that we can agree on, and start soon to follow them. The fee-and-dividend proposal sets out a market-driven way to curb emissions, while also, through the market rather than through regulation, it opens opportunities, beginning with the way we get our energy but going far beyond that. Why pay extra for fossil fuels when wind, solar, and geothermal energy come free?

    June 11, 2014 8:32 p.m.

    @Frozen - sub-millenial time scales in the Vostok data show no correlation. There is no correlation in the current data. That means the only scientifically sustainable conclusion is that climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is indistinguishable from zero. If and when the data changes, we can change the conclusion. If natural phenomena are currently overwhelming the influence of CO2, why is it that we should be alarmed? Won't they continue to do so?

    To paraphrase Dr. Botkin, who has been publishing on climate change since 1968, we have been through a warming trend driven by a variety of influences, but these changes are neither apocalyptic nor irreversible. We have real problems that we need to solve, but they're being ignored because of politically-driven climate hysteria. (I reference him because 200 words can't fully explain my position, but it is similar to Dr. Botkin's.)

    @Tyler D - look outside popular media and politics if you want to understand climate science. Doing so has led me to the conclusions I hold. I don't tend to take positions without doing the research to justify them.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    June 11, 2014 5:16 p.m.

    Research with a pre-planned outcome isn't research.

    How about some real facts?

    There have been cycles of warming and cooling throughout earth's history. When earth temps level off then we are changing from warming to cooling or from cooling to warming.

    There has been no warming in 17 1/2 years.

    Previous to that there was warming.


    We are now at the top of the roller coaster hill of temperature, and we are about to take the plunge down to cooler temps.

    The only urgency to do anything is that this president and the global warming wackos want to take credit for the cooling that is about to happen naturally. They know the odds are all on cooling in the near future, So if they can just enact something, anything, they can claim credit for the naturally occurring cooling.

    It doesn't take a prophet or a genius to figure this out folks.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    June 11, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    Oklahoma was said by global warmers to have less rain, more tornadoes due to global change. The reality they had fewer tornadoes and more rain. On the other hand it is possible that solar energy is about to explode and if so it is ok with me too. Anything we can do pales next to Chinal

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    June 11, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    The headline says "free-and-dividend". The opinion piece says "fee and dividend."

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 11, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    @Pops – “there is no mathematical correlation between global temperature and atmospheric CO2 in the empirical data”

    I think we dispense with this nonsense in one word – Venus.

    Moving on…

    @Pops – “please read Dr. Daniel Botkin's written testimony to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on 29 May 2014.”

    Putting aside any credibility problems with Dr. Botkin (and there are problems), why do you now place your faith in this one scientist while dismissing the tens of thousands of scientists from around the world who continue to assert AGW?

    Unless you already reached a conclusion and are now cherry picking the relatively small number of people supporting your view, how is that rational?

    @Thid Barker – “A carbon tax will never create more jobs, it will kill millions of jobs and increase poverty”

    A revenue neutral carbon tax would do no such thing, but it does raise a question for me. When did conservatives become the hand wringing, hyperbolic alarmists of modern politics? You guys used to be the sober grownups who poured cold reality on the dreams & fears of radical leftists.

    Seriously, what happened?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    @Thid Barker
    "What will employers and business owners do with a carbon tax? Pass it along to consumers or move their jobs overseas!"

    Cap and dividend puts a tax on carbon but also gives tax rebates to people. The end result is that the people who use a lot of energy pay more than they get back and the people who use little energy pay less than they get back.

    "Furthermore, there is no mathematical correlation between global temperature and atmospheric CO2 in the empirical data"

    Look up "Vostok ice core CO2 temperature". There's a strong connection. CO2 is not the ONLY influence on temperature so while CO2 has consistently gone up the past 150 years, that doesn't mean temperature would increase every single year, just that there's a forcing pointed that way. Natural cycles still play a role, like the weakest solar cycle in a century which we are currently in. Yet despite that weak solar cycle we're still at our warmest decade in modern record levels.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 11, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    You say repubs should have passed BO’s legislation. You say they are intransigent. You give no room for dissent. You want a dictator, do you? Well, BO already is one.

    You call a carbon tax a market-based solution. No, a carbon tax is not a market solution as it is an artificial influence on the market.

  • joeandrade Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    The keynote speaker at the Governor's Energy Development Summit last Wednesday, Ted Nordhaus, expressed a new reality - the current cost-benefit analysis already playing out in the energy markets. His Institute’s recent report titled Coal Killer outlines that new reality, now well understood by those in the energy and resource markets. It’s not Obama or the EPA that’s killing coal - it’s natural gas and the new renewables.

    So the Governor should (in the words of Princess Elsa) 'let it go' - let coal go - and oil shale, too. These fuels are not in Utah’s best interests. Carbon County - and all of Eastern Utah - need to move beyond coal, shale, and tar sands. And the Governor should be leading that transition, not denying it. He - and the Legislature - and local leaders - should be directing state resources into initiatives and investments in an economy and jobs which go beyond coal - and coal-fueled power plants.

    June 11, 2014 6:28 a.m.

    There is absolutely no scientific basis for attributing floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, or typhoons to man-caused climate change. Furthermore, there is no mathematical correlation between global temperature and atmospheric CO2 in the empirical data, suggesting that the climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is indistinguishable from zero. All of these proposals regarding human CO2 emissions and carbon taxes are purely political, pretending to be justified by computer models that for whatever reason give a result that is significantly different from reality. The scientific process has been successfully gamed to create an illusion that is the basis for this column.

    Carbon taxes that are touted as being revenue-neutral remind me of promises that were made by politicians regarding the income tax and the payroll tax that were subsequently broken. If we believe what is being said regarding carbon taxes, it will be "three strikes and we're (economically) out".

    If you would like a clear scientific summary of what is wrong with the AGW movement, please read Dr. Daniel Botkin's written testimony to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on 29 May 2014. (Note that Dr. Botkin literally wrote the book on environmentalism.)

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    June 11, 2014 6:18 a.m.

    This article is an excellent example of economic ignorance! A carbon tax will never, never create more jobs, it will in fact kill millions of jobs and increase poverty, period! What will employers and business owners do with a carbon tax? Pass it along to consumers or move their jobs overseas! Why? Because higher costs will make them even more uncompetitive with foreign competitors! It will increase costs of everything from our food to our medicines and poor people will be affected the most! China and India will be laughing all the way to their banks and we will suffer!

  • Shamal Happy Valley, UT
    June 11, 2014 1:21 a.m.

    Why do we need to create stiffer penalties for carbon emissions? The current penalties are already shutting coal burners down everywhere. We're also awash with government subsidies for alternative energy sources.

    Could it be that an all solar agenda is being pushed that could never make financial sense unless even clean burning natural gas was subject to penalty, artificially inflating the cost to that of Solar?

    Why not release subsidies dedicated to solar to all forms of alternative energy and allow the market to drive? Utah would be a lot cleaner if a fraction of the funds lost to propping up solar were spent on developing infrastructure for Natural Gas over the last six years.

    Carbon tax people will have none of it. Its all or nothing. Unfortunately, they're attempting to force us onto an expensive, half built boat that we can't be sure will ever be finished.

    Doubling the energy output from CNG reduces carbon emissions nationwide by 30%! It also cost a lot less. With all that extra money saved we'll be ready to revisit solar when they work out the kinks in 15 or 20 years.