PROMINENT CONSERVATIVES CALL FOR CARBON PRICING
John Darovec is a crew member of This Spaceship Earth. He’s also a retired marine biologist, Air Force Captain, and physician assistant. John is a member of several activist groups concerned with climate destabilization including: The Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, 350.org, Florida Veterans for Common Sense, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and This Spaceship Earth. He and his wife Susan live in Bradenton, FL where they lead the local Citizens’ Climate Lobby group (Florida District 16) in its effort to build political support for a carbon fee and dividend bill that will fight global warming while it improves the world’s economy, international security and health.
Despite what you have heard from people who believe they know more than the World Economic Forum, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Physicians for Social Responsibility… climate change is a serious threat to our economy, our national security, and our health.
To fix any problem one should first stop making it worse. In the case of climate change, that means we must stop adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. We must transition from using fossil fuels to using sustainable forms of energy. The federal government could enable and accelerate that transition.
Eight prominent conservative thinkers have formed the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) and they are promoting regulations to help make the transition. The CLC members include: George Shultz and James Baker who are both former Secretaries of State and of the Treasury, Henry Paulson another former Secretary of the Treasury, Martin Feldstein and Greg Mankiw who are former Chairmen of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, Thomas Stephenson who is a former U. S. Ambassador, Rob Walton who was Chairman of the Board of Walmart, and Ted Halstead who is founder, president and CEO of the CLC and formerly of New America.
The CLC recommends the government charge fossil fuel producers $40 per ton for the CO2 ultimately produced by their products. Of course, those producers will pass the additional cost on to consumers. All carbon money collected from the producers, therefore, would be given to all consumers equally on a per-capita basis. The revenue estimate for the initial $40 a ton is $200 to 300 billion per year. The estimated annual “carbon dividend” for a family of four is approximately $2,000.
Any nation importing products that emit CO2 would either have to initiate their own carbon tax, or the U.S. government would place a tariff on those goods to match the percentage increase in price that the tax creates. This “carbon tariff” will generate more carbon tax revenues to be distributed to Americans. The CLC proposal is suggested as an alternative to the regulations put in place under the Obama administration.
The CLC proposal is available in their publication entitled The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends which I’m sure will be evaluated by the House Climate Solutions Caucus and should be read by all members of the Legislative and Executive Branches.
With the privilege of controlling all branches of our government comes a responsibility to exercise wise leadership in approaching the challenges of our era, including global climate change. Conservatives now have the opportunity to set the terms of a lasting climate solution that is market-based rather than regulation-based, and has positive impacts on our economy, national security and health.