Monday, September 10, 2007

Chris Dodd Calls For Carbon Tax

Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd(D.) has called for a carbon tax in the United States. Dodd just happens to be running for president. Apparently he has decided he has nothing to lose by trying to grab headlines through bold initiatives. Read all about it in this Salon interview excerpted below:
Q: You are the only candidate calling for a carbon tax -- a proposal that some consider political suicide, because you can't make taxes appeal to voters. What are you hearing on the campaign trail about this?
A: The American people handle the truth very, very well. What they don't handle well is people in public life promising results without talking about what has to be done to get those results.
We're talking about a corporate carbon tax that would generate $50 billion a year, with the likely cost passed on to consumers being about 10 cents per gallon of gasoline. My argument is, yeah, this is not inexpensive, but look what's happening to prices today, under the status quo. Gasoline is about $3 a gallon on average across the country. Many think it's going to go to $4 or $4.50 a gallon later this summer. So prices are going up a lot more than the 10 cents a gallon we're talking about.
Even if your prices were not going up that high, we spend about $300 billion a year to purchase fossil fuels offshore. About $100 billion goes to countries who are very hostile to our interests. So the status quo is both dangerous and costly.
Q: Do you have any anecdotes from the campaign trail where you talk to voters about this and they say, "Hey, I get it"?
A: Yeah, they do. It takes you more than a bumper sticker to say it, so if you're looking for bumper stickers I don't have one yet for you. But I'm finding a very strong reaction to it. People are recognizing that this makes sense from a health standpoint, an environmental standpoint, a national security standpoint, a job creation standpoint.
Q: How will the revenues of your proposed carbon tax be spent?
A: They'll be placed into a Corporate Carbon Tax Trust Fund to fund fast-tracked research, development and deployment of
renewable technologies such as wind, solar, ethanol and other biofuels. It will also expedite the process for bringing energy-efficient technologies to market and ensure energy-efficient products such as bulbs and household appliances are price competitive, and it will offer tax credits on hybrids and other clean and efficient automobiles to make these cars affordable for all Americans. Being wealthy should not be a prerequisite to living green.
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