A double whammy of destructively dumb energy policies combines a phony climate crisis attributed to fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions used to push heavily subsidized, anemic, intermittent “green energy” with proposals for a carbon tax of one sort or another that will make all energy (and most products) more expensive with disproportionate burdens on those who can least afford the inflationary consequences.
To be clear, Democrats aren’t alone on such madness. This is prevalent bipartisan insanity.
Whereas many Republicans are tending to challenge “settled science” purporting to warrant climate hysteria along with attendant “carbon neutral” wind and solar fantasies which collectively provide about 3% of U.S. energy, they often simultaneously and contradictorily propose policies that penalize the more than 80% supplied by abundant and reliable hydrocarbons.
Look no farther than the “Foreign Pollution Fee Act” (FPFA) sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. where plant-fertilizing CO2 is characterized as a “pollutant.”
If passed, the bill would amend the IRS Code of 1986 to impose a fee on certain imports based on their production “pollution intensity” in striving for “environmental protection in order to protect human health.”
In doing so, the legislation would impose tariffs on 16 categories of goods produced with higher CO2 emissions than in the U.S. which include solar panels and wind turbines in addition to critical electric vehicle battery minerals, steel and aluminum, crude oil and gasoline, and petrochemicals, and plastics.
Although politically marketed as a device to economically disadvantage China — a recognized true polluter with terrible environmental safeguards — it’s their uncontrolled particulate emissions, not carbon dioxide that offer real cause for health and competitive pricing concerns as they continue to build the equivalence of about two new coal-fired plants weekly.
Carbon tax proposals serve as Trojan horse legislation enabling governments to limit the production and increase costs of those energy sources that we need most in order to drive dependency on those which are far less affordable and reliable.
Broadly speaking, there are two different strategies for accomplishing this: a carbon tax where government sets a price for each ton of greenhouse gases (GHGs) producers emit; and a tax on goods and services that are based on theoretical greenhouse gas-intensiveness, such as a carbon tax on gasoline.
In addition to FPFA, three other carbon tax proposals have been submitted by the 118th Congress since 2023.
A PROVE IT Act would require a study of GHG intensity associated with certain industrial products both internally created or imported with updates every five years.
A Clean Competition Act would apply a determined carbon intensity charge to domestically produced and imported goods that exceed a certain (arbitrary bureaucratic) benchmark.
A MARKET CHOICE Act would apply a tax on fossil fuel emissions, high emitting industrial facilities and products in certain sectors including imports of such fossil fuels and other products subject to border tax adjustments.
Never mind that, as aptly noted in a recent paper on the economics of climate policy authored by Princeton’s José Luis Cruz Álvarez and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, the impact of CO2 on global temperatures is “minuscule.”
This conclusion is consistent with a “World Climate Declaration” by 1,609 members including two Nobel Laureates of the international non-profit scientific Global Climate Intelligence Group (CLINTEL) which argues that “climate science has degenerated into a discussion of beliefs, not on sound self-critical science.”
CLINTEL asserts that any claim of a consensus that “science is settled” regarding the existence of a dire climate crisis emergency caused by carbon dioxide is a deceptive, destructive, and costly fraud.
The declaration points out that while natural as well as human-caused factors cause temperature changes, the world has warmed significantly less than theoretical models have predicted, revealing that we are far from understanding the complex influences.
Accordingly, climate models are not remotely plausible as policy tools: they exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases while ignoring the enriching and vital vegetation benefits of CO2 which is essential to all life.
Records further show that while “global warming” has not increased natural disasters: there is ample evidence that CO2 mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly.
I’ll add here that included in this mix of scams are carbon cap-and-trade schemes that exchange credits between producers and green energy claimants, unprofitable carbon capture legislation, and huge taxpayer subsidies supporting otherwise unmarketable electric vehicles.
All these various carbon taxing ploys to shift competitive free market energy decisions to regressive handouts, penalties and mandates have greatest impacts on low-income households that typically spend larger shares of their income on energy and transportation.
Above all, self-identified conservatives who buy into these “government knows best” policies should know better.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 12 books is “Architectures Beyond Boxes and Boundaries: My Life By Design” (2022). Read Larry Bell’s Reports — More Here.
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