Time for a corrective tax on carbon

Time for a corrective tax on carbon
In his letter, “Give the free market a
chance,” Robert Harris complains about
subsidies for clean energy. I agree. Subsidies
for energy production, research and
exploration are taxpayer money down the
drain. Let’s get Congress out of the betting
game. Eliminate subsidies for oil, coal, natural
gas, wind, solar and nuclear— all of them.
Instead, listen to the majority of
economists: Place a corrective tax on carbon
pollution. Bush and Romney economic
adviser Greg Mankiw adores the idea of a
corrective tax. “Internalize the externalities,”
he says.
Mankiw is not alone. An elite group of
economists and pundits have the good sense
to publicly advocate higher Pigouvian taxes—
taxes levied on companies or products that
pollute the environment or create excess
social costs— such as gasoline taxes or
carbon taxes. The Pigou Club wants market
integrity. Use a corrective tax, they say.
Incorporate into the price of an item its actual
costs to society. With coal, oil and natural gas
these costs include harm to the environment,
catastrophic damage to our climate, road
congestion and national security.
A carbon tax would let consumers and
investors consider these very real threats to
our way of life each time we pump gas, cool
homes or power our factories.
Congressman Pete Stark proposed the
Save Our Climate Act outlining a corrective
tax on carbon pollution.
Virginia’s congressmen could co-sponsor
that bill, now in the Ways and Means
committee. Supporting the Save Our Climate
Act would move us one step closer to an
economy respectful of the fact that its very
existence is dependent upon the stability of
our climate and the health of its consumers.
John Whitworth
CCL FILENAME 2012 05 09 RichmondTimesD Whitworth LTE Time for a corrective tax on carbon
ERROR: undefined