Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm opposed to the Cap-and-Trade system

I believe we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we need to do it quickly.  I also believe a market solution is the best solution. While I laud the goals of carbon reduction, I believe a Cap-and-Trade (CAT) system is an unnecessarily complicated scheme only Wall Street could love (and politicians afraid of the word “tax” and US citizens to dumb to understand CAT is a tax.) 

CAT is essentially a carbon tax wrapped into a security.  Do we really trust Wall Street and the financial speculators to responsibly handle a trillion dollar market created to equitably solve a social problem?  I don’t.

Instead, I support a simpler, more transparent, and easier to understand, straight-forward Carbon Tax with 100% dividend distribution to U.S. citizens.  With a 100% dividend distribution, this tax would be revenue neutral for the government since all proceeds would be returned to the people in the form of a rebate.

The tax would be collected as the fuels enter the US market and that would be it.  The additional cost would flow through the system and affect all CO2 emitters.  This would internalize the price of polluting, making it more expensive to emit CO2. 

Since all monies collected would be refunded, those that pollute less than average would actually get a net rebate while those who pollute more than average would be the ones ultimately paying more.

The tax code is regularly and successfully used to promote or discourage certain behaviors.   I believe a simple, revenue neutral Carbon Tax is the way to reduce carbon quickly and fairly.

A Carbon Tax is supported by both Al Gore and NASA scientist and climate expert Jim Hansen.


Dan said...

Great post! I hope you can convince your fellow CPAs.

Dan Rosenblum
Carbon Tax Center

Brian C. Setzler, CPA said...

The New Oregon Carbon Tax Report is Out.

If Oregon invests well, a carbon tax will grow jobs and wages.