Friday, December 5, 2014

Loren Alving 8-10-2014 - Fight warming with fees

Fight warming with fees

International experience shows that a carbon fee and dividend is a market-based approach that combats global warming.

Before being repealed due to political pressure, Australia's carbon tax caused greenhouse gas emissions to drop and the percentage of energy from clean sources to rise. Even more impressively, British Columbia's carbon tax, also enacted in 2008, is not only encouraging innovation and reductions in emissions but has widespread support while fostering an innovation-positive, business-friendly climate.

What is the difference? The difference is that British Columbia's is revenue-neutral. All revenue from the tax must be returned to British Columbians. Their tax has actually turned out to be revenue-negative, meaning that on average more money was returned to each household than was spent.

The revenue-neutral fee and dividend proposed by the Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) would also return 100% of proceeds to U.S. households. A recent study by Regional Economic Modeling Inc. predicts most American households will get back more than they spend. The British Columbian experience proves it can happen. As former Secretary of State George Schultz, a strong CCL proponent, says, "you can't call it a tax if you return all the money."

 Loren Alving

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