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Argument For A Carbon “Charge”

— This op-ed story in the New York Times got my attention by putting the carbon tax in a new light. Call it a carbon charge and maybe it makes more sense and sounds less politically odious.

Carbon taxes (charges) seem to be a logical tool to force conservation and reduce the use of fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

Read the story by clicking on the link above. The authors of the piece - one from Harvard Business School and the other from the Connecticut EPA - say charging people for damage to the environment lies "at the heart of property rights." They suggest government should begin charging at a low rate but ramp it up quickly.

To wit: The best way to drive energy innovation would be an emissions charge of $5 per ton of greenhouse gases beginning in 2012, rising to $100 per ton by 2032. The low initial charge, starting next year, would make the short-term burden on consumers and businesses almost negligible.

Naturally, this charge would be passed on to consumers of gas and electricity, but that will just force us to conserve and make innovative technology happen. Necessity is the mother of invention, as we know.

Sound good?

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