One issue which conservatives and libertarians tend to be reluctant to champion has long been solutions to fight against climate change or environmental protections. Just about everybody agrees that we should work to find ways to improve and protect our environment, but the disagreement largely stems from the best way to do this.
Should the government play an active role in developing and innovating clean energy technologies? Or does this do more harm than good by stifling innovation which could come from the free market? Can the free market be trusted to find these solutions?
These questions are all issues which are frequently asked, as they should be. Former Illinois Congressman Bob Dold has now come out with a new solution, which is based upon tax incentives and lessening the tax burden on companies, not implementing a new tax.
He authored a proposal alongside former New York Congresswoman Nan Hayworth and Vice Chair of ConservAmerica Tina Beattie.
Here is an excerpt from the writing, be sure to read the whole thing here:
“Recently some U.S. conservative leaders proposed a carbon tax to hedge the risks associated with climate change. We welcome these leaders to the climate realist caucus — and as we do, we also respectfully urge them to reconsider their support for a new tax scheme.
The idea of a carbon tax has been around for years, based on the notion that all products and services should be subject to a tax to internalize the societal costs of the carbon pollution they generate. The revenues from the tax would either go to “good” programs chosen by politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists, or be returned to taxpayers to make up for rendering everything they buy a lot more expensive. In the meantime, the tax would serve as a deterrent to carbon emission[…]”
“We agree that prices affect behavior, because that’s the essence of the marketplace. But it’s a bidirectional phenomenon: prices going down work just as effectively as prices going up. So, yes, we can manipulate pricing to increase green innovation, reduce air pollution and address climate change — but, instead of taxing carbon and raising prices for everyone, let’s selectively remove taxes from electricity sources producing zero (or nearly zero) emissions (nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, hydro) and incent further reductions in emissions from coal and natural gas facilities.
Since electricity is taxed across the board, providing a tax cut opportunity for zero-emissions facilities and a tax cut for reducing emissions from natural gas and coal plants will reduce utility bills for every ratepayer — and provide even greater relative benefit to the economically disadvantaged. We estimate that a zero emissions energy tax credit — ZEEC —would cut Americans’ electric bills by at least US $5.5 billion a year out of a total federal budget of around US$3.8 trillion. The best part is that a tax code approach allows us to cut from the nearly US$30 billion a year in existing subsidies.”
What do you think of this proposal? Let HYPELINE News know what you think in the comments!