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Overall, might be done without congressional action (apart from the mining law) but its not yet sufficiently developed. Want more on how this proposal could be implemented to mitigate concerns that it may overstate the simplicity of the costs of administration via executive action.
The judges advanced this proposal, but felt the proposal needs to much more clearly describe the legality of this approach, and make explicit the basis for these proposed executive actions. The proposal would also benefit from a stronger discussion of the political repercussions of this approach. Some more specific comments:
1. Imposing a carbon tax on fuels extracted from public lands by executive action is an intriguing concept, but it is not at all clear that it "could well be, even should well be, the outcome of ongoing legal and regulatory processes without requiring major new legislation." To the contrary, Congress could be expected rather quickly to repudiate such an effort by the executive branch. As a partial step, the Administration could attempt to incorporate the estimated social cost of carbon more fully into public lands management questions, as well as other areas such as infrastructure planning (e.g., highways, pipelines, transmission lines). In general, need more justification/strategy as to why executive action is the appropriate route here.
2. This is a genuinely interesting idea that might be feasible; at the same time, such action would involve a wide degree of legal and political obstacles that are not fully explored in the proposal. More details (such as an actual estimate of the potential revenue associated with the implementation of such a fee) would be welcome, since its not clear the spending suggestions are commensurate with the scale of revenues.
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