Carbon tax would set us back
There seems to be some support in Congress for creating a federal carbon fee. Yet nearly all of what has been stated in its favor is false.
The proposed fee claims that once imposed, it will then pay 90 percent of its revenues back to “households” and 10 percents to “schools, hospitals, etc.” It then increases its level each year after, and soon the tax would be more than the cost of removing fossil fuels. But to repay that revenue requires some outlay: Government and private costs of collecting the fee, passing it onto the government, deciding who gets which part of the revenues and the cost of then allocating and distributing that. Imposing the desired carbon fees into these “refunds” would likely cost the government as much in additional federal expenses as the initial fee itself.
The main sponsor of these fees, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, claims they will create 2.1 million additional jobs over 10 years due to the “clean energy economy.” Such claims have been made in the past and have never been proved right; in the United States, despite great federal incentives, such industries have frequently instead become bankrupt, often subsidized by federal funds then not repaid.
In recent decades, clean energy, with numerous federal and state subsidies, has not reached the levels of continuous production — including storage and reallocation — required for use in public utilities. Meanwhile, fossil-fuel uses are getting cheaper and more efficient. The carbon tax would therefore make it harder for U.S. energy production to continue its downward trend on emissions.
The best way to get better costs for fuels is the free market, which has also been the only mechanism that has allowed the U.S. to also reduce emissions.