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Climate Groups: Don't Be Fooled, Industry-Backed Carbon Tax Just Latest Scam


Climate Groups: Don't Be Fooled, Industry-Backed Carbon Tax Just Latest Scam

Jon Queally, staff writer

Actually, no, major fossil fuel companies and "left-wing enviros" have not found common cause in an industry-backed carbon tax proposal.


I am immediately skeptical of any plan that has as its leading designers and proponents conservative republicans and is supported by Exxon and other fossil fuel corporations.

Let’s look at the whole plan. I’m not against a carbon tax, but a good one really depends how it is designed.


Recall the Washington State carbon tax initiative on the November 2016 ballot that would have reduced Boeing’s and other corporations’ business and occupation taxes such that there would be zero incentive for them to reduce carbon.


They must have figured out how a stock market bubble can be created from this.


Anything backed by the likes of Exxon and and any other myriad corporate polluters/environmental destroyers is to be wary of. Their support means that they will benefit big time yet continue BAU…polluting, destroying, and laughing all the way to the bank.


Looks like they took Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s more reasonable carbon fee and dividend proposal and then transplanted a cancerous liver into it.

Healthy to deadly.


Everything for the rich in this Country is a scam. If it was portrayed as the truth, the average American would not let it happen. There is nothing like those right wing think tanks who do nothing but design information to cheat the American public. I regard them as the real traitors and threat do our Country.


“Enviros” do seem to tack center/left.
The center/right thus appears oblivious to climate chaos.
They know they’ll not be adversely affected.




Carbon pricing schemes neither actually work or have the intended outcomes. That’s why I keep proposing oxygen pricing. You can read my oxygen-pricing article at easterplanet dot ca slash oxygen dot htm


Replying to RoyceGW and RichK …

The CCL and CLC proposals amount to one in the same. Each is a perverse Trojan horse – one perhaps by accident, and the other intentionally. Either one would lead to dismantling needed regulations, and both will perpetuate fossil fuel use.

You ask, why does a respected climate scientist support this? My guess is he hasn’t adequately thought it through in a systemic way concerning the politics and human nature involved.

Note too that CLC’s website says CCL is a “Strategic Partner,” and from both websites that there is an overlap among their leaderships and principal supporters.

I believe fee & dividend will LOCK-IN fossil fuel use, at a level perhaps less than at present but still unacceptable (it must go to zero, because of CO2’s long-term persistence in the atmosphere).

Because people would get hooked on the regular rebate checks, popular pressure would ensure that fossil fuel use will never reach zero. Alaska’s “permanent fund dividend” demonstrates this. The state is in a deep fiscal hole and has no statewide taxes on income, sales or property - yet it gives each individual a substantial check each year. Because those checks are a political third-rail, as is the idea of reestablishing the old income tax, the state government has been unable for many years now to balance the budget. And the hole gets deeper.

We need instead to confront climate change head-on, not through yet another market-based mechanism that is doomed to fail – and particularly not Fee & Dividend which will LOCK-OUT effective regulation indefinitely.

I am a member of CCL.  Our members are overwhelmingly liberal,  yet the organization recognized long ago that no real progress can be made without conservative cooperation. The real power has always been in Washington.  What I struggle with is wanting to be punitive towards the Oil companies versus the knowledge that we all have to be part of a solution. 
There are three things that must happen.(1.)  We need to price carbon. Regulations can and have been bought and paid for. They can also change with the next administration (2.) A carbon tax must be 100% revenue neutral with all the money distributed back in equal shares to all citizens.  This is the only way to make it non regressive and equitable. (3.) We must have border adjustment and tariffs on carbon.  That would virtually force the rest of the world into pricing carbon in their home countries. 
This is just not going to happen unless we all recognize how we all have contributed to global warming and how we are going to need a consensus, including those we want to blame, to try to repair the damage.


Bob_Roger said, “We need to price carbon.”

What we need is a cap (without trade) on carbon, declining rapidly to zero (i.e. by about 2035). Putting a price on carbon could contribute to that; however, it is an indirect means of doing so. An indirect means may not work as planned, and end up being ineffective or inadequately effective. A hard, declining cap (including border adjustments) can be entirely pre-planned to arrive at zero emissions by a set date. That is what we need. Fee and Dividend won’t get us there.

Bob_Roger said, “A carbon tax must be 100% revenue neutral with all the money distributed back in equal shares to all citizens. This is the only way to make it non regressive and equitable.”

Even if there is a carbon tax, there is no “must” concerning making it revenue neutral. Adjustments external to the tax mechanism can deal with the making things right for poor at the lower end of the income scale. The internal mechanism in CCL’s scheme would increase the disposable income of broadly the lower two-thirds of the populace, and that translates freely into additional activities and goods purchases that result in additional carbon emissions. Meanwhile, the well-off can afford to pay the price for continuing high-emission lifestyles. CCL’s mechanism is programmed to fail.


Exxon has been in support of a carbon tax for a little while now, and I think it’s probably because they think they are better positioned than their competition to invest in renewables.

Yes! Details matter. A carbon tax needs to be high enough and increase quickly enough to phase out fossil fuels asap. Bonus points if it returns some or all of the revenue to the people. A dividend check to each individual turns a revenue-neutral carbon tax into a policy that benefits low-income folks!


I don’t know about this proposal specifically, but a revenue-neutral carbon tax is said to be the most effective, transparent, and inexpensive way to solve climate change. Environmental economists who study this stuff for a living are mostly in agreement about that.


Replying to Onward …

Please read “It’s Not Just What Exxon Did, It’s What It’s Doing” (https://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/02/18/its-not-just-what-exxon-did-its-what-its-doing). Trusting Exxon is might sanguine.

As you say, a carbon tax that is aggressive enough is one way to do it, but neither of the proposals criticized in the article have that characteristic. Also, the dividend check idea defeats the purpose of the tax (see comments above). The situation for low-income folks needs to be compensated directly, not through a broad-brush fee and dividend scheme that (in large part due to its indiscriminant dividends) will be ineffective in protecting the climate.


togetherwestand, that’s just hearsay, and a reference to a generalized 10-year old web posting.


It’s sad to see Common Dreams parrot empty rhetoric like this, w/ no critical appraisal or contrasting p-o-v. Couldn’t the reporter have reached beyond the circle represented here?

Folks interested in a broader view reflecting at least some analysis are invited to go here:

And for a deeper political perspective, here: