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New Poll: Americans Support a Carbon Tax

Green Lifestyle  (tags: climate, climate-change, climatechange, CO2emissions, energy, environment, globalwarming, globalwarming, greenhousegases, healthconditions, politics, pollution, protection, weather, americans, congress, corruption, cover-up, ethics, dishonesty, GoodNews )

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In the last two years 67 percent of U.S. counties were affected by at least one billion-dollar extreme weather event

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JL A (281)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 12:18 pm
New poll: Americans support a carbon tax

Posted Jan. 30, 2013 / Posted by: Ben Schreiber

It’s no secret that climate change is costing us big money these days. In 2011-2012, the price tag for extreme weather in the U.S. reached $126 billion. Droughts across the Midwest and Texas, wildfires in the West and the destruction from Superstorm Sandy all resulted in severe damage and heartbreak that will be felt for years -- and a monumental cost to taxpayers.

In the last two years 67 percent of U.S. counties were affected by at least one billion-dollar extreme weather event. At a time when many people in the U.S. are deeply concerned about our economy, the deficit and the tax burden, it seems that the planet has stepped up and started levying its own ‘climate tax’ in the form of severe weather.

Perhaps the fact that we are already being taxed meteorologically explains why most Americans say they would support a carbon tax in the fiscal sense.

A recent poll (see a short summary) commissioned by Friends of the Earth and conducted by the leading polling firm Mellman Group found that about 70 percent of Americans had a favorable response to a carbon tax. Support remained high regardless of whether the revenue raised would go to fixing our budget programs or towards dual purposes of helping “solve our budget problems and fund programs that help deal with the effects of climate change and create clean energy jobs.”

Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica said of the results: “This data shows that we can help solve our fiscal problems in a new way that not only helps our environment, but also has strong public support. The president and members of Congress don’t need to contemplate another harsh round of austerity, and instead should consider carbon taxes as a popular and promising budget solution.”

In recent months, the Washington Post ran an editorial in favor of a carbon tax, and the New York Times published an op-ed supporting the move. Reuters, Bloomberg and the Associated Press have also weighed in on the potential for a carbon tax.

Other polls, too, show a public swing toward a carbon tax, including this one conducted for Slate magazine, which showed a carbon tax with a 56% approval rating. Clearly, momentum is moving in our favor.

But despite the common-sense advantages that a carbon tax brings, conventional wisdom has long been that it is a “non-starter.” In fact, just last week White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declared that the administration has “no intention of proposing a carbon tax.”

We’d hoped that things would be different after President Obama used his second inaugural address to pledge to do more on climate change, citing “the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms” as a motivator for pushing harder for environmental reforms to fight climate change.

And while we’re gratified that the Obama administration has now lifted its silence on climate change, we need our leaders to do more than just talk.

We’ve got a stark choice in front of us:

We can refuse to act and let the planet itself continue to levy its own version of the carbon tax – one that costs taxpayers more and more each year and devastates lives and livelihoods in the process.

Or, we can start making major carbon-producing industries pay for the damage they inflict on our public health and the environment by putting a price on carbon. In the process, we can help solve our budget problems and discourage greenhouse gas emissions to boot.

It may be a stark choice, but a clear one.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 12:24 pm
We need a petition demanding a carbon tax; and we need to get at least a million signatures on it because that's the only way this climate-challenged president will take notice.

David C (129)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 1:14 pm

JL A (281)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 1:59 pm
Brian, such a petition could be started here on Care2. If someone does create one, please post a link to it here.
I agree Dave.
You cannot currently send a star to Brian because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Dave because you have done so within the last week.

Terry V (30)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 5:03 pm

4 Degrees Warmer

JL A (281)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 5:09 pm
Thanks for posting the link to the short on-topic video Terry. If anyone hasn't watched this one yet, I encourage you to take the opportunity. You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last week.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 7:07 pm

I support a carbon tax, a real tax and not an exchange system. We can use solar and wind they are not out there in the future, they are here and now and real.

JL A (281)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 7:13 pm
CA's system sold out way faster than anyone predicted; seems that a system should be able to fly nationally, too--and if far fewer are sold than current carbon put out, those would be taxed as a real tax and phase out the credit sales portion until just pure tax remains like you suggest Kit. You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week.

Billie C (2)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 8:37 pm
i find this hard to believe since most people don't even know what a carbon tax is. where are these polls being taken?

Paul Girardin (126)
Wednesday January 30, 2013, 8:53 pm

Ben O (154)
Thursday January 31, 2013, 2:03 am
Well, in Sweden we've had carbon (CO2) tax since big deal...

JL A (281)
Thursday January 31, 2013, 7:55 am
Thanks Ben for the link to the great article:
"Abstract-In 1991 a carbon tax was introduced in Sweden as a complement to the existing
system of energy taxes, which simultaneously were reduced by 50%. Since then the
system has changed several times but a common feature is lower taxes for industry and
electricity production than for other sectors. Currently, industrial consumers pay no
energy tax and only 50% of the general carbon tax. Neither energy nor carbon tax are
applied on electricty production. Today the general carbon tax level is 36.5 öre/kg CO2
(approximately $ 150/tonne C). The most obvious effect of the carbon tax has been an
increased use of biomass in the Swedish district heating system. Biofuels peat etc.
currently contribute about 50% of the energy supply to the Swedish district heating
systems. The demand for biomass has encouraged the development of new methods for
utilising wood fuels which in turn has led to price reductions on these fuels. The impact of
the carbon tax on the energy and resource efficiency of the Swedish industry has probably
been rather limited for three reasons: 1) the carbon tax on industry is only 50% of the
general level and, 2) only a relatively small fraction (30%) of the energy supply to
industry was fossil fuel-based when the tax was introduced and 3) for most industrial
companies the energy cost is a relatively small fraction of the total cost and has therefore
low priority."
Sure wish I had a green star for you!

Cheyenne Thunderbird (100)
Thursday January 31, 2013, 8:12 am
America should ratify the the Kioto Climate chance agreement which got eight mnore years in Doha. That is something which means much.
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