The American oil industry is now signed on to what all the economists insist is the right way to deal with climate change. Just have a carbon tax and let the markets do the rest of the heavy lifting. As a result we will be able to see the full insanity of the climate change movement:
Oil companies, automakers and consumer products manufacturers will unleash a campaign for a U.S. tax on carbon dioxide emissions even though it may lead to higher prices for their products. Oil companies BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are giving $1 million each to the Americans for Carbon Dividends advocacy campaign, underwriting its efforts to persuade Congress to enact a carbon tax-and-dividend plan. And Ford Motor Co. is signing on as a founding member of the group developing its underlying initiative, the Climate Leadership Council.
And can’t you just hear the screams? This is corporate lobbying and therefore whatever is being proposed is evil!
The initiative they’re backing would impose a predictable, nationwide price on carbon dioxide emissions — starting at $40 per ton — with the promise of deeper reductions in greenhouse gases than would be achieved through existing laws.
The “starting at” shows that we’re on the Bill Nordhaus plan here, the correct one. And not just because he got the Nobel last year for his efforts and research into this issue. Because it is the correct one. Don’t throw away everything we’ve already built, use it until it runs out. But make damn sure that what replaces it is non-emitting.
And yet can’t you just hear the objections? The varied climate change activists will be against this even more vociferously than they would be if nothing was being proposed. As, in fact, they were against such a plan in Washington State. No, really, the biggest objectors to that plan there were green groups.
We might even describe this as a tragedy. Decades of campaigning, argument, public advocacy, have finally swung the energy establishment behind the correct solution. Therefore this will be opposed because who wants to agree with the energy establishment?