Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Congressman John Dingell Proposes 50-cent Gas Tax Hike to Fight Global Warming

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dealing with global warming will be painful, says one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress. To back up his claim he is proposing a recipe many people won't like — a 50-cent gasoline tax, a carbon tax and scaling back tax breaks for some homeowners.

"I'm trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it's going to have a measure of pain that you're not going to like," Rep. John Dingell, who is marking his 52nd year in Congress, said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press.
To continue reading: Congressman John Dingell Proposes….

My Commentary
Everyone who believes global warming is a reality and believes we must take action to combat it should rally behind this bill. It will be an uphill battle to get this bill passed and in fact, the bill is not even introduced at this point and is only a draft. However, up until this point there have been few serious attempts to deal with this important issue. Slightly increasing CAFE standards is not a serious attempt to deal with global warming and could actually be counterproductive. Higher CAFÉ standards may actually decrease the competitiveness of alternative fuels and cause American motorist to drive more.

Most people now believe global warming is a reality. Only Rush Limbaugh and a handful of other holdouts are still preaching that global warming is a hoax. The Bush administration, while not offering any real solutions, has changed its tune and now recognizes global warming as a serious problem we must combat. So while almost everyone recognizes the reality and seriousness of global warming most want painless solutions to combat it.

Many people have watched the documentary An Inconvenient Truth or 11th Hour or went to Live Earth parties and felt informed and virtuous. Being informed is good. Changing out a bad light bulb for a good light bulb is a good thing to do. Properly inflating your tires is commendable. Being entertained, feeling virtuous, and changing out a light bulb however, are not going to solve the problem of global warming. Waiting until human nature changes and people adequately value Mother Nature is not a solution nor is relying on voluntary conservation.

Unfortunately, neither will a 50-cent per gallon gas tax solve the problem. Many people think that to change the habits of American drivers and to make alternatives to carbon-based fuels competitive, we need a gas tax of about $3.00 a gallon as well as substantial taxes on other carbon fuels. A 50-cent per gallon tax however, is a start and is a much-needed structural change. It is recognition that those who put global warming emissions into the air should pay a price for doing so. The goal is not simply punitive however. People respond to pricing. If we want less emission of green house gases, we need to increase the cost of emitting green house gases. Once the structural changes are in place, the amount of the tax can be modified to achieve the desired level of reduction. Curently, there is no cost associated with putting global warming pollutants into the air; there should be. Mitigating the harmful by-products of production and consuption should be accounted for in the price structure. While a carbon tax is not the only method of combating global warming, it is by far the most efficient method.

The organization doing the most to promote a carbon tax is Carbon Tax Center. To learn more about carbon economics and why a carbon tax is the preferred method of achieving global warming emissions reduction, visit their site. This site will tell you how you can join the fight to stop global warming and specifically what you can do to support Congressman Dingell’s efforts. You can help this cause by joining and making a contribution to Carbon Tax Center.

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