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Bad Ideas Seem To Hang On

July 24, 2012

Two years ago, Cap and Trade, known as Cap n Tax, was killed when the Waxman – Markey bill didn’t pass the House.

Now there is a surreptitious movement underway to pass a Carbon Tax. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a supposedly conservative group, got egg on its face when it hosted a meeting that was designed to push for a carbon tax in the lame-duck session this year.

The effort has been squelched by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). They said no way and no.

The AEI meeting agenda was clear:

Price Carbon Campaign / Lame Duck Initiative:

A Carbon Pollution Tax in Fiscal and Tax Reform Meeting V,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th Street, N.W.

12:45 – Lunch

1:30 – Background and orientation

Session I: Update on posture of key constituencies

1:45 – Congressional Republicans, Romney and Business Leaders

Detoxifying climate policy for conservatives (Discussants: Kevin Hassett, Dave Jenkins, Eli Lehrer, Bill Newman)

2:15 – Progressive/Social justice groups (Discussants: Danielle Deane, Tyson Slocum, Chad Stone)

2:45 – Economists and deficit hawks (Discussants: Autumn Hannah, Aparna Mathur, Diane Lim Rogers, Rob Shapiro)

3:15 – Break 

Session II: Framing and selling a carbon pollution tax 

3:30 – Initial thoughts on a post-election public opinion and education campaign                 Discussant: Kevin Curtis

4:00 – Building bipartisan support and navigating Ways & Means (Discussant: Tom Downey)

4:30 – Honing the case for a carbon pollution tax (Ian Parry: IMF book on carbon tax in fiscal context, Rob Williams: RFF FAQ, Adele Morris: November 13th AEI/Brooking/IMF event & July 12th RFF discussion)

5:00 – Next steps and Wrap-up

A carbon tax would harm all Americans, which is why Cap and Trade was defeated in the House two years ago.

Let’s hope this idea fades away.

Unfortunately, it isn’t fading very quickly.

Adele Morris, a Brookings Institution scholar reportedly said “there is a lot going on in the analytical community” about the idea of a carbon tax as a way to address climate and the deficit.”

Morris also said that “AEI, Brookings and the International Monetary Fund are sponsoring a joint event in November about ways to craft a U.S. carbon tax.”

Efforts to cut CO2 have an impact on energy policy, or what passes for energy policy, which is the reason for highlighting these recent events.

There is a powerful constituency in Washington DC, in favor of cutting CO2 with a carbon tax, and ultimately following Europe in its efforts to cut CO2 80% by 2050.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 24, 2012 10:11 am

    In a world heading for a cooling period, what could be more stupid than a carbon tax?

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