For some time now I have had the sense that the concept of Carbon Tax is becoming a more acceptable dining room conversation topic, so yesterday I decided to poke around the web to see what I could see. While I didn’t find direct proof that there’s more than last year, I certainly found no shortage of interesting, provocative commentary and I am now comfortable talking about it with anyone.
It seems obvious to me that if we want to discourage the use of fossil fuels we should increase the price. The generic name for this idea is a Price on Carbon. This includes Carbon Tax and Cap & Trade, but what do these mean? Many commentators justify the tax saying that it addresses the cost of the damage done by burning carbon.
The simplest description of a Carbon Tax that I found was by James Hansen: 1) A fee is charged at the point of origin or point of import on greenhouse gas emitting energy (oil, gas and coal). 2) The fee is progressive (increases gradually) over time. 3) The fee is returned to the public. Read his full description of what it is, why it will work, and why the Climate Lobby prefers to call it Fee and Dividend.