Monday, March 5, 2012

A Carbon Tax isn't Politically Feasible? BS

Although Republican politicians now seem vehemently opposed to any and all climate change policy, there is a smattering of conservative support for carbon taxes. This includes some previous support from politicans, some support from ex-politicians, and a multitude of businessmen and conservative economists who enthusiastically embrace energy taxes.

As far as economists in general are concerned, 60% of economists in Australia support the carbon tax bill passed (25% are opposed).

Republican House candidate BJ Lawson: "We should also explore a carbon tax on nonrenewable energy as a complete replacement for our federal income tax. We want more jobs, productivity, and income – so it doesn't make sense to tax jobs, productivity, and income."

Greg Mankiw (see more on him here) has a Pigou Club manifesto  outlining a very coherent analysis of the benefits of a carbon tax.  

Conservative University of Chicago Economist Gary Becker
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
Bill Gates
Freakonomics author Steve Levitt
Former Republican Senator Bob Ingliss
Alan Mullaly (current president of Ford and former Boeing CEO)

Current Republican Senator Lindsey Graham's 2010 proposal: "He proposes “putting a price on carbon,” starting with a very focused carbon tax, as opposed to an economywide cap-and-trade system, so as to spur both consumers and industries to invest in and buy new clean energy products."

Conservative columnist Charles Kraughthammer
Conservative columnist George Will

The conservative think tank American Enterprise included a carbon tax in its deficit-reduction bill:
"In fact, the irony is that there is a broad consensus in favor of a carbon tax everywhere except on Capitol Hill, where the 'T word' is anathema."

Former Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey

Former Bush economic adviser Glenn Hubbard: “But businesspeople don’t innovate because it feels good; they innovate because there’s a return to that innovation. If you want a return to that innovation, you will have to price it – you will need to put a price on carbon, which means having, either through a cap-and-trade system or an explicit tax, some incentive to innovate carbon-saving technology.” 

Supply-side economist Art Laffer 

Former Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz

Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson: “He said he favors a carbon tax to curb greenhouse gas emissions — rather than a cap and trade system using pollution credits — because the tax is more effective, less costly and easier to administer.”

Exxon-Mobil International Chairman Robert Olsen: "Achieving a uniform and predictable cost for carbon across the economy would enable market mechanisms to work effectively to this end. Uniformity ensures economic efficiency, whilst predictability facilitates good decisions affecting energy consumption today, and investment in the technologies needed to reduce emissions over time."

Sempra Energy (natural gas operator) CEO Donald Felsinger: "I think the most effective way to deal with carbon pollution is to have a carbon tax."

Conservative NY Times columnist David Brooks: A crusade for economic self-restraint would have to rearrange the current alliances andembrace policies like energy taxes and spending cuts that are now deemed politically impossible. But this sort of moral revival is what the country actually needs.”

Climate change-denier Wall Street Journal writer Holman Jenkins Jr: "A carbon tax would be the efficient way of encouraging businesses and consumers to make less carbon-intensive energy choices. Government would not have to exercise an improbable clairvoyance about which technologies will pay off in the future."

Former George W Bush speechwriter David Frum: "You don’t have to believe that global warming is a problem to recognize that a carbon tax is the solution. Under the umbrella of a permanent disadvantage for fossil fuels, markets could figure out freely which substitutes made most sense."
Paul Anderson, former CEO of Duke Energy

Former American Petroleum Institute Chief Economist Michael Canes

Former Reagan Chief Economic Adviser Martin Feldstein

GM CEO Dan Akerson: “You know what I’d rather have them do – this will make my Republican friends puke – as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas.”

FedEx CEO James Hansen
Caterpillar CEO James Owens

There you have it.  That is an assortment of 25 businessmen, conservative economists, conservative politicians, and conservative pundits who have publicly supported a carbon tax.  Vocal supporters of energy taxes include two of the three American car company CEOs, the upper echelon of one of the biggest sources of emissions in the world (Exxon), two other energy industry executives, and a smattering of prominent Republican economists.  Is it really so politically suicidal for Democrats to show the widespread support of a carbon tax among some of the most prominent conservative businessmen and economists?  

No comments:

Post a Comment