The Frederick News-Post‘s Sunday editorial (“Since when did the Republican party forget the power of the free market?”) was spot on. Internalizing the externalities of fossil-fuel pollution through a price on carbon and then letting the market sort it out is a no-brainier and supported by a vast majority of economists.

As for the best carbon pricing regime, I would recommend Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend proposal. It would assess an initially low, but steadily rising fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels right where they enter the economy (mine, well or port) so that the price of carbon pollution becomes embedded in every purchasing decision economy-wide. The steadily rising nature of the fee sends a clear market signal to investors and entrepreneurs that fossil fuels are outdated and that the smart money is in the new, clean energy economy.

To protect citizens (particularly lower and middle income) from the rising cost of living that will result, 100 percent of the revenue would be returned to households in a monthly dividend check. A border adjustment tariff would protect American competitiveness and encourage other nations to adopt similar carbon pricing mechanisms.

This simple, transparent and fair proposal would unlock the power of the free market and is a solution that both conservatives and liberals can get behind. Supporters include George Shultz, Greg Mankiw, Hank Paulsen, and Art Laffer.

Republicans will remember the power of the free market to solve the climate crisis when enough of their constituents remind them. Visit www.citizensclimatelobby.org to add your voice to this reminder.

Dan Herscher

Birchwood, Wisc.

(42) comments

Comment deleted.
vicdavy

timmy better be ready to move to Moscow so you can serve under Putin. Trump needs to take all you wackos with him,LOL![beam]

Comment deleted.
Comment deleted.
glenkrc

VD - Please re-read your own post. LOL(AY)! [beam]

threecents

This is a way to encourage clean energy and help pay down the debt. Sure it costs us some money, but it is an investment in our kids' future.

fnfn

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-raise-the-gas-tax-a-lot/2015/01/08/5b4b407c-976f-11e4-aabd-d0b93ff613d5_story.html "
By Charles Krauthammer Opinion writer January 8, 2015

For 32 years I’ve been advocating a major tax on petroleum. I’ve got as much chance this time around as did Don Quixote with windmills. But I shall tilt my lance once more." Even some mean conservatives like Charles know that a carbon tax could help. This article was a year ago, so with lower fuel prices, this is the best time to do it. Fracking only produces shorter term oil and gas, so the clock is ticking.

Comment deleted.
Dan Herscher

John, good point on the fact that we already have a carbon tax. However, it is extremely inefficient and hidden in the costs of government regulation which is why I, and nearly all economists, advocate for a carbon fee. A straight up carbon fee would be more transparent, have lower administration costs (hence more efficient), and internalize the negative externalities of carbon pollution much more efficiently than government regulation. This could be a replacement for EPA regulations and the end of all other energy subsidies and ultimately reduce the size of government. If the revenue is also returned to the citizens as a dividend people would be free to use their dividend to invest in lower carbon options and dodge the fee in the future. Coal gassification would actually be a viable economic option (if it does indeed produce less pollution) and so it could compete with old fashioned coal burning.

vicdavy

Great Column!

herbie

Sure, if you support more taxes, and government interference on the development of new sources of energy

BYT Vic how is your stock in Solyndra doing?

vicdavy

[offtopic]

fnfn

Off Topic was meant for Herbie.

fnfn

Herbie, you seemed to have missed this one where Obama's energy department made money in spite of the Solyndra deal that went bad from China dumping solar cells: "hayduke2 Jan 26, 2016 11:59am

Herbie- how this article from 2014... It states the following " In 2011, solar panel company Solyndra defaulted on a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy. The agency had a few other high-profile bankruptcies, too — electric car company Fisker and solar company Abound among them. But now that loan program has started turning a profit.

Overall, the agency has loaned $34.2 billion to a variety of businesses, under a program designed to speed up development of clean-energy technology. Companies have defaulted on $780 million of that — a loss rate of 2.28 percent. The agency also has collected $810 million in interest payments, putting the program $30 million in the black." Perhaps the start up of a new technology and market would have failures - look at the auto industry and how many of the original car makers are no longer around. I know you like to try to sway people with limited facts, but the truth appears to be they are succeeding. The source for this is http://www.npr.org/2014/11/13/363572151/after-solyndra-loss-u-s-energy-loan-program-turning-a-profit Now I know you will somehow find fault with NPR but your stats come from right wing sources..."

glenkrc

The only reason some are succeeding is the existence of OTHER subsidies built into the system. Remember, it's a shell game...you've got to watch carefully.

Dan Herscher

Thank you.

herbie

So Dan, you want a carbon tax which would drive up the cost of oil - which would impact the poor and middle class the hardest.

Your idea is to make gas at the pump so expensive people will be FORCED to live the way you think they should. Which is one of the core beliefs of the left - liberalism to so great it must be mandatory.

If you really believed in the free market, you would know when a new source of energy is found, private investors will put up the money and bring it to the market.

Also please remember the tab Obama has run up wasting taxpayer money on his "green" energy projects. BILLIONS so far have ben taken from the producers and flushed down the toilet. This is NOT the role of the government

Here is the list of failed "green" energy money pits

Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
Solyndra ($535 million)*
Beacon Power ($43 million)*
Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
SunPower ($1.2 billion)
First Solar ($1.46 billion)
Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
Amonix ($5.9 million)
Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
Abound Solar ($400 million)*
A123 Systems ($279 million)*
Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
Johnson Controls ($299 million)
Schneider Electric ($86 million)
Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
ECOtality ($126.2 million)
Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
Range Fuels ($80 million)*
Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
GreenVolts ($500,000)
Vestas ($50 million)
LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
Navistar ($39 million)
Satcon ($3 million)*
Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

R's are all for new sources of energy - not at taxpayer expense however. We are over taxed, and the government wastes a huge amount of our money on liberals dreams like this.

public-redux

"...which would impact the poor and middle class the hardest."

Wait a sec, you used to support a flat tax because it was fair to everyone. Now you're using the liberal whine that a flat tax hurts the poor. Bad move.

herbie

If liberals like you really want fairness then you would back a flat tax. that way when any greedy politican wants to jack up taxes, everyone would have to pay. Not just the ever shrinking number of people who pay taxes

But it was a lame attempt to shift the topic Mr. Republican

public-redux

Keep doing the lord's work, herbie! It's your calling.

public-redux

And it is Ms. Republican. Sometimes I think you confuse me with phydeau. You occasionally refer to me as PH. Isn't "Mr. Republican" one of your monikers for phydeau?

public-redux

"...attempt to shift the topic..."

You're the one who brought up the topic of a flat tax on carbon hurting the poor most of all. It is in your very first sentence (see above). Odd that you would claim it came from me. I'm trying to help you avoid a strategic mistake. Opposing a flat tax in this instance undermines your argument for a flat tax on income. Winning battles and losing the war isn't anything to be proud of.

herbie

A carbon tax would hurt the poor and middle class. that is a fact. But do gooder liberals also know that but try to deny it.

For some reason, liberals belive we are under taxed and therefore government is under funded.

So far you have ignored the long and expensive list of Obama's "green" energy disasters and try to shift the topic. Which is normal

public-redux

You are wrong that a flat tax on carbon would hurt the poor and middle class more than anyone else. The beauty of a flat tax is when any greedy politician wants to jack up taxes, everyone would have to pay. Not just the ever shrinking number of people who pay taxes.

Your long list isn't worth commenting on because it is off point. There is not a single example there of internalizing externalities. I don't see how you could disagree with that but you do have ways of surprising me. Like referring to someone who consistently argues for smaller government as liberal. What's up with that?

phydeaux994

"Mr. - Ms. You have to be one or the other. Two liberal do gooders in a pod".......herbie, if Liberal = do gooder does Conservative = do badder? In America being a do gooder is a positive thing. I laugh when you think you are insulting people by calling them "lib" or "do gooder". You are complementing them. You are one confused dude.

Hayduke2

Herbie- how this article from 2014... It states the following " In 2011, solar panel company Solyndra defaulted on a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy. The agency had a few other high-profile bankruptcies, too — electric car company Fisker and solar company Abound among them. But now that loan program has started turning a profit.

Overall, the agency has loaned $34.2 billion to a variety of businesses, under a program designed to speed up development of clean-energy technology. Companies have defaulted on $780 million of that — a loss rate of 2.28 percent. The agency also has collected $810 million in interest payments, putting the program $30 million in the black." Perhaps the start up of a new technology and market would have failures - look at the auto industry and how many of the original car makers are no longer around. I know you like to try to sway people with limited facts, but the truth appears to be they are succeeding. The source for this is http://www.npr.org/2014/11/13/363572151/after-solyndra-loss-u-s-energy-loan-program-turning-a-profit Now I know you will somehow find fault with NPR but your stats come from right wing sources...

fnfn

Thanks for the sensible facts after so much miss information.[thumbup]

Comment deleted.
Hayduke2

Typical, you default to name calling of anyone who doesn't subscribe to your arguments. There are other sources as well but why try Mr know it all.

vicdavy

Thanks for the Facts, hayduke![thumbup][beam]. I am getting tired of trying to inform the delusional. Forgive me, but after thousands of factual detailed posts I can only laugh and make fun of the conservafools!

Dan Herscher

This is a straw man argument and belies the fact that you are not reading my letter with any attempt to understand my argument. Please see my above comment.

BlueDawn666

Herbie does not care about FACTS and like many on the right suffers from a reading comprehension disability, they can read the words but just cannot comprehend what they mean or what they are saying..so they go ahead and just make-up their own facts..

and yes this is a great letter

Hayduke2

Curious Herbie on how current your info is. Checked on one that I know of, First Solar. The failed company, according to Wiki has the following inof " Historically, First Solar sold its products to solar project developers, system integrators, and independent power producers. Early sales were primarily in Germany because of strong incentives for solar enacted in the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) of 2000 (cp. Solar power in Germany).[citation needed] Declines and uncertainty in feed-in-tariff subsidies for solar power in European markets, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain,[24] prompted major PV manufacturers, such as First Solar, to accelerate their expansion into other markets, including the U.S., India and China.[25]

Beginning in December 2011, First Solar has shifted away from existing markets that are heavily dependent on government subsidies and toward providing utility-scale PV systems in sustainable markets with immediate need.[26] As a result, it now competes against conventional power generators,[27] and has reduced its focus on the rooftop market.[20]

On February 24, 2009, First Solar's cost per watt broke the $1 barrier, reaching $0.98. Production cost has continued to fall and in February 2013, reached $0.68 per watt.[1] " Their current revenue is listed on the stock exchange as 3.39 BILLION - so they failed how?

vicdavy

[offtopic][spam]

bjonesskins69

Willard & Kelsey never filed bankruptcy and recently repaid 6.5M on a 10M loan. Out of the principal's personal pocket. Although I do agree with the overall theme of what you are stating.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.