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The Timing of the Carbon Tax

January 5, 2009
by  Michael Duvinak
Skeptics Global Warming

Republicans faired poorly in the November 2008 U.S. Presidential and Congressional election as they saw one of their own, Arizona Senator John McCain, lose to Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Democrats picked up additional seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, stopping just shy of a filibuster-proof majority. With total control of the executive branch and majority control in the legislative branch, just how long will it take Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to bring a carbon tax to America, a concept recently implemented in British Columbia on July 1st of last year?

While a carbon tax is nothing new to those leading the charge for anthropogenic, or man-made, climate change, it is a new concept to many of us in the United States. The idea is simple. A carbon tax is a fee paid to emit greenhouse gases. Unless you are completely self- sustained on your property and in your travels, you will be impacted.

Companies that generate electricity will feel the pinch of a carbon tax for burning natural gas or coal to generate power. Steel mills will be impacted for burning fossil fuels to keep their furnaces hot. Automobile manufacturers will face the reality of carbon taxes for greenhouse gas emissions generated during production. Trucking companies will share the burden, as their fleets emit carbon dioxide during their cross-country journeys, delivering the goods you purchase, like food. Your home's heat source will be taxed as costs from coal, wood and natural gas suppliers or electricity producers pass the expenses on to you. Every time you start your car, you can count on having to start the tax meter. Do you commute to work? Prepare to pay the carbon tax. Use fossil-fueled mass transit? The carbon tax applies to that, too. Unless your home is powered by wind, water, solar or geothermal sources, you will be impacted. Unless you ride a bicycle to work every day, you'll get a carbon tax bill. Even electric cars may not help you, as the electricity used to recharge their batteries may not come from a clean and renewable energy source. Buy lots of acreage, become full-time farmers, plow the soil by hand and manually harvest the food to save on the carrots and potatoes you'd normally buy at the store. There is no escape from the inevitable carbon tax.

With elections coming up in just under two years, the timing of a carbon tax implementation in the United States is critical to those in Washington. As Barack Obama assumes control of America from the Oval Office in just weeks, his number one priority will be to fix the national recession. There's speculation that the President-elect will offer up a $1 trillion stimulus package designed to get America back on track. Obama plans to stimulate the economy with so-called green jobs in the energy sector, subsidized by the taxpayer. However, the repeal of tax cuts enacted under the Bush Administration, as well as any new taxes--including one on carbon, may have to wait until after the economy begins to grow. The latest economic forecasts from analysts suggests 2009 will experience the second half of the residential mortgage crisis in addition to potential commercial real estate and credit card industry defaults. Suffice it to say, the real turnaround in the economy may not start until 2010 or later.

Even with the urging of Al Gore and, most recently, NASA scientist James Hansen, any new taxes may be shelved indefinitely if Congressional Democrats fear for their jobs over a national carbon tax plan so close to the 2010 election. With so much backlash over the $700 billion bailout plan passed by Congress at the urging of President Bush, Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves if their wholly Democrat-led administration in Washington implements a carbon tax too soon and Congressional seats are lost in the 2010 election.

Democrats in Washington must also face the stiff opposition of Americans that are skeptical of man-made global warming. While the mainstream news media has been conspicuously quiet about the lack of warming temperatures over the last decade, many scientists are now backing away from the global warming theory, some fearful of losing their jobs and their professional credibility. People sometimes have short memories, and the frigid cold combined with frozen precipitation prevalent around the globe during the last two winter seasons is enough to force many to question the science, and reality, of global warming. To some, the idea of yet another tax to solve a problem that doesn't impact them on a local level is difficult to receive. Acceptance of a carbon tax while at the same time experiencing subzero temperatures and ice-covered streets is even more difficult.

To force a new carbon tax on Americans at any time in the next two years is going to require the Democrats to immediately turn around the economy and convince the planet to warm up again. Sadly, at least for the new controlling party in Washington, these are miracles that even Barack Obama can't likely perform.
Michael Duvinak
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 I am a social and fiscal conservative as well as a skeptic of anthropogenic global warming and run the blog Skeptics Global Warming. In my spare time, I like to read non-fiction and listen to classic rock.

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