This plan will lead to health and prosperity for all U.S. citizens, and the cost will be equal or less than we are now paying.
What actions do you propose?
A. Eliminate all current energy industry federal subsidies. E.g. tax breaks, depletion allowances,loan guaranties, free insurance, no-interest loans. - levels the playing field for energy sources. - Knocks out nuclear power and corn ethanol. - Lowers profitability of fossil fuel companies - Saves taxpayers $80? Billion/year
B. Implement a revenue neutral carbon fee………. based on number of tons of CO2/methane emitted when fossil fuels are burned. - Starting at $20/ton of CO2 equiv. and adding - Starting at $20/ton of CO2 equiv. and adding $15/year. 5/year. (Need scientific consensus on how much tax is needed). - Will make fossil fuels significantly more expensive. - Assessed at well or mine or border. Put into a trust fund where politicians can’t touch it. - Will encourage utilities to switch to renewable power sources. - Will cause big investment in energy efficient processes and devices. - Could call it a “greenhouse gas emissions fee”. - Will save future climate damage costs. - It’s gradually phased in. Companies and people can plan their purchases. -All U.S. households will be given a monthly “energy dividend” , e.g. $200, to offset the higher energy costs they will pay. Lowest 50% of earners will come out ahead and get a net “tax reduction”. Upper income people can buy high efficiency products –and break even. - Mid and lower income people could be given 1% loans for new, “basic”, efficient cars, refrigerators, etc. - Companies/schools would get back what they paid—to ease their transition to new energy sources---but only for 4 years. - To keep companies from buying energy intensive components in China etc, and to encourage China to adopt its own carbon tax, a carbon tariff will be applied to the energy content of all U.S. imports. U.S. exporters may get a rebate. - Part of the revenue raised could go to subsidizing production of U.S. renewable energy products and energy saving products we will export to developing countries to help them get off fossil fuels. A win-win for companies and aid. - No carbon fee exclusions for specific industries. - To sell the idea to Americans it must be revenue neutral or revenue dedicated. (Note: “cap and trade” won’t work because citizens won’t get money back)
C. All companies must bear the full cost of their pollution. E.g. their oil spills, methane leaks, chem spills, fly ash spills, toxic waste, non-recycled fracking fluid. EPA/DOE will monitor & assess fees. - Gives companies an incentive to install proper pollution prevention equipment. (to save them $). - Forces all companies to include all their costs in their product pricing - Huge taxpayer savings D. An NO2 tax and SO2 fee (similar to a carbon fee). Goal: to scrub all NO2 and SO2 from all power plants within 4 years. Since 1980 NO2 is down only 41%. SO2 only down 66%. Still get acid rain.
E. Fines for fertilizer and pesticide run off. One third of rivers and ½ of lakes are un- swimmable/fishable.
F. Make the federal gas tax flexible to create a minimum gas price of $7-8/gal. Revenue neutral. It would be dedicated to specific uses: repair of roads and bridges, fossil fuel health costs, incentives for new energy technologies. If OPEC/oil companies decide to drop the gas price to hurt new technologies, then the gas tax adjusts to maintain a $7-8 pump price.
G. Add a fee-bate program of consumer incentives. When buying a car or light truck, buyers will get an immediate rebate if they buy a high MPG vehicle in a given class (e.g. 4 person car) and pay an extra fee if buying a low MPG model. It will be revenue and technology neutral. No net taxpayer cost. Essential for innovation. Auto companies have assured demand. Retains consumer choice.
H. Change electric utility rules...... so they will make more money by helping consumers save electricity and moving to renewables…… rather than by selling more electricity.
I. The government will do the R&D on and coordinate a national smart electrical grid system.
J. The government will offer “x-prizes” and R&D subsidies to companies with the best new , low carbon or energy efficient products. Prize is proportional to production volume.
K. The government would regulate electric energy instead of the states. This would allow feed- in tariffs and better grid coordination.
L. Mandate new efficiency standards for processes, buildings and appliances What will these energy policies do for us?• Provide huge entrepreneurial incentives to stop climate change• Create new industries ---with millions of good jobs--- so we can hopefully become the world experts in the future technologies.• Help prevent costly catastrophic warming • Improve our quality of life –- living in efficient cluster housing with shared parks and farms; driving electric cars or using mobility services;• Give us less pollution and better health.• Prevent wars for oil