"February 28 News: Debate Growing Over Carbon Tax, Despite Slim Chances"
The National Association of Manufacturers and left-leaning think tank The Brookings Institution locked horns on Tuesday, with each issuing new analyses on carbon taxes that came to very different conclusions.
NAM says a carbon tax would cripple American businesses and not accomplish its goals. Brookings says the tax would be an efficient way to boost federal revenues, drive down greenhouse gas emissions and enable Washington to cut high corporate tax rates.
And Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate environment committee, wants to make sure the White House isn’t interested. In a letter Tuesday, Vitter asked to President Barack Obama to reaffirm his opposition to a carbon tax — and to come out against newly proposed legislation from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) that would put a fee on carbon.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched a program to update some of its nautical charts, thanks largely to climate change. The revisions affect Alaska’s coast, as ice that has historically blocked Arctic waters has plummeted in recent years. [Climate Central]
An expert witness said Wednesday that BP’s negligence caused the 2010 explosion aboard a Gulf of Mexico drilling rig, killing 11 workers and spilling millions of barrels of oil. [NYTimes]
As U.S. oil and natural gas production booms, the Obama administration’s energy policy has been “fluid” by necessity, according to top White House advisers, and “might not look perfectly pretty from the outside” as it evolves to shifting supply-and-demand scenarios. [Reuters]
U.S. natural-gas production will accelerate over the next three decades, new research indicates, providing the strongest evidence yet that the energy boom remaking America will last for a generation. [WSJ]
Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) says solar power, a business it abandoned four years ago, may expand into the world’s biggest source of energy in the next half century. [Bloomberg]
Ministers are unnecessarily driving up energy bills for consumers by failing to fully commit to low-carbon energy production, the British government’s official advisers have warned the energy secretary, Ed Davey. [The Guardian]
South Africa delayed introducing a carbon tax until 2015, after objections from metals companies such as ArcelorMittal (MT) South Africa Ltd. and Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI). [Bloomberg]