I think it's promising that climate denialists in Congress feel a need to actively fight against carbon taxes and a "fee and dividend" proposed legislation. Given that the legislation has zero shot of passing before 2017, I'm glad that the forces of status quo feel the need to fight it.
The article at the first link is good but flawed, with the incorrect and uncited statement, "Economists favor a carbon tax over cap-and-trade as more efficient and transparent". A tax gives greater certainty on costs but less on carbon emissions than cap-and-trade. It's a less efficient and less transparent way to achieve a proposed level of emissions, but more efficient and more transparent way to demonstrate the costs.
This part's good:
most new versions of the tax, including Boxer/Sanders, would include a border tariff on the carbon content of imports that is equivalent to the tax. That would create a big incentive for exporting countries like China to impose their own carbon tax so as to keep the revenue.
Opponents clearly think the idea is gaining traction and want to stop it before it gets too far.I'm looking forward to seeing something similar in Europe and Australia, providing the same incentive to us that we'd like to provide to China. I do think though that at least half of the revenue from an import tariff from a developing country should be sent back to exporter to help reduce their emissions.
UPDATE: The Bunny is glad to see that Eli Rabett's Simple Plan to Save the World is catching on
Nations wishing to make major progress on decreasing greenhouse gas emissions should introduce emission taxes on all products. These taxes should be levied on imports as well as domestic goods at the point of sale, and should displace other taxes, such as VAT, sales taxes, and payroll (e.g. social security, health care) in such a way that tax revenues are constant, and distributed equitably.
These should be introduced as an Emissions Added Levy (avoiding the bad jokes). EAL would be imposed on sale for emissions added in the preceding step and inherent to the consumption of the product, as would be the case for heating oil and gasoline. Manufacturers would pay the EAL on electricity they bought, and incorporate this and the levy on emissions they created into the price of the product they sell.
Imports from countries that do not have an EAL would have the full EAL imposed at the time of import. The base rate would be generic EALs based on worst previous practices in the countries that do have EALs, which would be reduced on presenting proof that the actual emissions were lower.
All countries with EAL systems would reserve a portion (say 5%) for assisting developing countries with adaptations (why not use acclimations?) and mitigating programs.
By basing the levy on emissions rather than carbon all greenhouse gases stand on a common level, sequestration is strongly encouraged as well as such simple things as capturing methane from oil wells and garbage dumps (that gets built into the cost of disposal). The multipliers would come from CO2 equivalents on a 10 year basis.
Eli slept well and the good eco faries visited his dreams