"March 18 News: Carbon Tax Vs. Sequester Cuts — A Winning Policy Vs. A Losing One"
Tom Friedman’s Sunday column says it is ridiculous that the sequester cuts have gone through, yet a carbon tax is not even on the table. [New York Times]
…[I]t strikes me as crazy that one of the obvious solutions to our budget, energy and environmental problems — the one that would be the least painful and have the best long-term impact (a carbon tax) — is off the table. Meanwhile, the solution that is as dumb as the day is long — a budget sequester that slashes spending indiscriminately — is on the table.
Shrinking the tax deduction for charity is on the table. Shrinking Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the poor are on the table. But a carbon tax that could close the deficit and clean the air, weaken petro-dictators, strengthen the dollar, drive clean-tech innovation and still leave some money to lower corporate and income taxes is off the table. So the solutions that are lose-lose and divisive are on the table, while the solution that is win-win-win-win-win — and has both liberal and conservative supporters — is off the table.
The sequester is endangering scientific research at educational institutions, which could cause brain drain and force scientists to spend less time researching and more time looking for grants. [Washington Post]
The government of Alberta took out an ad in Sunday’s New York Times pushing Keystone XL as “The Choice of Reason.” [Huffington Post]
Ethanol production in the U.S. has dropped 10 percent due to falling gasoline consumption and the drought affecting much of the nation’s crops. [New York Times]
The state of Oregon is showing interest in adopting a carbon tax, and has invited British Columbia’s environment minister down to discuss BC’s system. [Oregon News 1130]
A new report says that proposed EU fuel efficiency proposals could create up to 400,000 jobs and save tens of billions of euros. [Planet Ark]
Geothermal energy is gaining support from some unlikely quarters, and many see it as a growing piece of the pie. [OilPrice.com]
In the UK, new draft curriculum guidelines eliminate most mentions of climate change for children under 14. [Guardian]
The carbon dioxide absorbed by plankton is higher than once assumed, according to a new study. [LA Times]