You're either on the pro-America side that wants to make sure America is not sending US dollars to al-Qaeda thru Saudi Arabia and Iraq - or you're a big oil/gas proponent who hates America.
It's that simple.
That said, wouldn't a carbon tax be simpler to administer and harder to avoid, and make it obvious who's patriotic and who hates America?
Sometimes I take Excedrin before finishing Will in Seattle's comments.
And the money! The money! We're so good at technology and we could be the world leader in developing it and selling it to the rest of the world, particularly China, provided they don't all die from their horrific pollution beforehand. Rather than protecting polluting industries, which are the 21st Century equivalent of the horse and buggy, we'll promote clean technologies.
A carbon tax a/k/a a direct pollution tax is the way to go. Bloomberg proposed it recently. Hummer owners pay more. Those who drive more, pay more. Those who spew CO2 from their coal factories, pay more.
Or, we could decide we want to be responsible for more global warming, by subsidizing carbon emitters...as in voting to spend billions on new road lanes....
I wuv you too.
Remember, people laughed at cap-and-trade - and even the EU is shifting to a carbon tax.
Ah, Erica. Master of the incorrect sweeping generalization. Read one article about the horrors of Malaysian palm oil plantations, and suddenly all biodiesel is unsustainable.
This conveniently ignores the fact you can make biodiesel from waste cooking oil, a source sustainable as long as people like fried foods; algae that can feed on carbon-neutral sewage or CO2 from coal power stations, which may not be CO2 neutral, but at least doubles the productivity per carbon.
But, hey, why be informed when you can be PC?
Cap and trade just encourage more efficient production of energy, without addressing consumption. Because you don't get anything for not using energy in the first place, only for generating power with less pollution. Whereas a carbon tax tax would reward both conservation and cleaner production.
Cap and trade would not discourage sprawl, because there's no carbon credits to sell from moving closer to work, or locating your offices in a central location instead of cheap exurb real estate.
A tax is also very simple: carbon costs. Reduced carbon costs less. Whereas cap and trade requires a very complex round of horse trading to see who gets how many credits, and constant lobbying over when you lower the cap.
For further reading on carbon tax v. cap'n'trade, this piece is pretty interesting, and fairly evenhanded for something published under the aegis of the Cato Institute.
Exactly, elenchos, which is why the EU is moving towards a carbon tax from cap and trade.
i'd like to see a citation on "unsustainable" biodiesel.
The short version of what is unsustainable about biodiesel is that conventional farming uses so much petroleum -- fuel and fertilizer -- that we are basically turning oil into food. So turning oil in into biodiesel is obviously stupid. And supposedly we need all that land for food.
But who said biodiesel should be farmed conventionally? Who said we should use so much land for cattle and cattle feed instead of grain and biodiesel?
And of course, the whole point of a biodiesel subsidy is to develop both the industry and the technology for the future. You would cancel the subsidy not because it's unsustainable now, but rather because you were convinced that it will never be sustainable.
Dr. Science Jonathan Golob makes the same mistake criticizing hybrid cars, not seeing them as an investment in developing the technology for the future, and only judging them on how well they work today.
Oh God. I think "cap'n'trade vs. carbon tax" debate is shaping up to become next year's Prop 1-style "good being the enemy of great." And *that* one isn't even over yet!
I think I'm going to hurl.
(Carbon tax is better/smarter, but either would be 100 FUCKING percent better then what we have right now.)
It really depends on the feedstock. This report looks at the lifecycle energy balance of canola biodiesel, and concludes it produces 2.5 units of energy for every 1 of fossil fuel used in production.
That compares with ethanol at 1.5, and drilling for oil at 4 to 1, but that is falling as oil is getting harder to recover. Corn ethanol may be terribly inefficient, but lets not tar all biofuels based on one crop.
Good points on bio-diesel - the proof is the biomass source. The best probable source is switchgrass, which grows in Washington state and can be shipped shorter distances, and doesn't need as much water.
Agree that Cap and Trade is better than current "voluntary" situation, even if Carbon Tax is better than either.
Action speaks louder than words.
Cap-and-trade is probably the best we'll get in the current political climate, for the simple reason that any policy proposal with the word "tax" in it will have a very serious uphill battle these days.
So Sven, tsm, whenever we have two options which are both better than a third option, we should pick the second best, not the best. As long as it's better than the worst, that's good enough. To me that is just a way of taking things off the table and working your way down to the status quo.
If I want to win a negotiation, shouldn't my first offer be more than I could wish for? You don't start with the minimum you're willing to accept unless you enjoy losing (i.e. you are a typical Democrat).
Coal isn't meant to be a long-term sustainable solution. But it is a short-term one that doesn't have us dependent on the Middle East.
Ditto for Ethanol. Not THE solution but in the short-term it's better that we're beholden to Big Corn in Iowa than Big Oil in Saudi Arabia.
If I want to win a negotiation, shouldn't my first offer be more than I could wish for?
Proposing an energy plan isn't like haggling on a car. If we spend months negotiating on a carbon tax plan that goes nowhere, we may not get a chance at a second offer for a long time. Look what happened with nationalized health care in the 1990s.
Could we get a carbon tax through? I don't know. There are people far better poised to answer that than me. But if it's unlikely to happen, give me cap-and-trade.
And yet coal creates more global warming pollution .... which makes it inherently unstable, even if we do have 300 years supply in the US itself.
Fully auctioned cap-and-trade is a nice idea, but you know that by the time it gets though the political process, it will have been modified to include substantial free hand-outs to current big emitters. That's what happened in Europe. And that's why Greg Mankiw, founder of the Pigou club, which supports a carbon tax, says "cap-and-trade = carbon tax + corporate welfare".
But hey, if you can really manage to get fully auctioned cap-and-trade, more power to you. We can use the extra revenues to maintain the Bush tax cuts for the rich beyond 2010.
Fully auctioned cap-and-trade is a fantastic idea, but you know that by the time it gets though the political process, it will have been modified to include substantial free hand-outs to current big emitters. That's what happened in Europe. And that's why Greg Mankiw, founder of the Pigou club, which supports a carbon tax, says "cap-and-trade = carbon tax + corporate welfare".
But hey, if they can really manage to get fully auctioned cap-and-trade, more power to you. We can use the extra revenues to maintain the Bush tax cuts for the rich beyond 2010.
40 mpg new car minimums should be mandatory for 2009. Vehicles that can't meet that standard should be available to those that need them through a commercial or agricultural license.
Why commercial? I can see industrial, but we've had the tech to produce - and most of the EU and Japan uses - trucks that get 40 mpg right now.
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