Editor’s Note: For an alternative viewpoint, please see:Counterpoint: Carbon Dividends — the Gipper Would be Proud
Some old-guard Republicans are floating the idea of a national tax on carbon-dioxide emissions. The newly minted Climate Leadership Council (CLC), composed of aged establishment Republicans who’ve seen their stature diminish with the rise of the tea-party movement and election of Donald Trump as president, tried to appear relevant by pitching the worn-out idea of a carbon tax-and-rebate scheme in a meeting with President Trump on February 8.
In exchange for the tax, CLC proposes eliminating nearly all of former President Barack Obama’s climate policies. It’s almost certainly true regulatory greenhouse gas restrictions imposed by the Obama administration distort energy markets more than a straight carbon tax would, but why replace a bad set of policies with a slightly less bad tax? This is not one of those repeal and replace moments. Let’s just get rid of the regulations, full stop, no replacement!
The only reason to discourage the use of fossil fuels is to prevent supposedly dangerous climate change. Yet the best evidence — as opposed to dubious computer model predictions — suggests humans aren’t causing the climate to change in ways that even remotely threaten human health or environmental integrity.