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May 8 News: Washington Post On The ‘Elegant’ Tax Reform Policy That Also Cuts Pollution

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"May 8 News: Washington Post On The ‘Elegant’ Tax Reform Policy That Also Cuts Pollution"

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The Washington Post editorial board makes a very compelling case that the carbon tax is an excellent policy to be part of a reform of the tax code. [Washington Post]

No honest tax reform paper, for example, would be complete without discussion of a carbon tax, an elegant policy Congress could immediately take off the shelf. It would make polluters pay for their own pollution, which is the best way to encourage greener thinking. It would cut emissions without overspending national wealth on grandiose central planning or command-and-control regulation. And it would raise revenue, which lawmakers could use for debt reduction, lowering other taxes, improving the social safety net or some combination.

The carbon tax is one of the best ideas in Washington almost no one in Congress will talk about.

Shell Oil’s CTO says that “the time of easy oil and gas is gone” as the drillers look for new technology enabling them to extract oil from extremely deep and scalding water in the Gulf. [Houston Chronicle's Fuel Fix]

Exxon will spend $4 billion to develop the “technically challenging” oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. [Bloomberg]

Senator Lisa Murkowski is pushing the Interior Department to clearly and quickly issue regulations on Arctic drilling as spring starts and the ice continues to melt. [The Hill]

The American Petroleum Institute is pushing the EPA to slow down regulations on sulfur emissions from automobiles. [The Hill]

The claim that there is no consensus that humans cause climate change gets four Pinocchios from the Washington Post fact checker. [Washington Post]

Because cold water absorbs carbon more than warm water, the Arctic is more vulnerable to ocean acidification, warned a study released Monday. [Guardian]

As the U.S. stops using as much coal, production has hit “record lows.” [Bloomberg]

Progressive and environmental groups are pulling their Facebook ads over the revelations that Mark Zuckerberg’s political group has been airing pro-Keystone and Arctic drilling ads. [Politico]

In a concept out of Avatar, scientists are trying to create plants that glow brightly enough to read by, or to serve as biological streetlights. [New York Times]

As hurricane season approaches, President Obama meets with electric utility officials today to discuss what everyone has learned since Sandy. [The Hill]

Vice President Joe Biden tells an activist that he he was in the minority in the Administration, but he agrees Keystone should not be approved. [Buzzfeed]

The U.S. Green Building Council and Princeton Review rated 320 colleges and universities on how green and sustainable they were. [Sustainable Business]

A new Australian EV design can charge a vehicle to 80 percent in 30 minutes. [Renew Economy]

54 percent of Spain’s electricity in April came from renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Clean energy investment in Latin America topped $4.6 billion in 2012. [Climate Group]

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18 Responses to May 8 News: Washington Post On The ‘Elegant’ Tax Reform Policy That Also Cuts Pollution

  1. Leif says:

    “Shell Oil’s CTO says that “the time of easy oil and gas is gone” as the drillers look for new technology enabling them to extract oil from extremely deep and scalding water in the Gulf. ” One of these day the Ecocide Fossil Baron CEOs will realize that they have the capital to build Green Energy and collect money without the problem of catastrophic liabilities. Of course with the public currently picking up the overs, profits from the pollution of the commons is still top dog.

  2. fj says:

    Carbon tax is nice and will easily fall in place once we have mobilized to stop accelerating climate change on a massive scale.

    Mass mobilization must be the prime effort not only to stabilize climate but the global economy as well.

    Otherwise we will continue to fight fires until we come to our senses.

  3. prokaryotes says:

    In a U.S. patent application, a little-known Maryland inventor claims a stunning solar energy breakthrough that promises to end the planet’s reliance on fossil fuels at a fraction of the current cost – a transformation that also could blunt global warming.

    Inventor Ronald Ace said that his flat-panel “Solar Traps,” which can be mounted on rooftops or used in electric power plants, will shatter decades-old scientific and technological barriers that have stymied efforts to make solar energy a cheap, clean and reliable alternative.

    “This is a fundamental scientific and environmental discovery,” Ace said. “This invention can meet about 92 percent of the world’s energy needs.”

    His claimed discoveries, which exist only on paper so far, would represent such a leap forward that they are sure to draw deep skepticism from solar energy experts. But a recently retired congressional energy adviser, who has reviewed the invention’s still-secret design, said it’s “a no brainer” that the device would vastly outperform all other known solar technology.

    Ace said he is arranging for a national energy laboratory to review his calculations and that his own crude prototypes already have demonstrated that the basic physics for the invention work. http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/08/3387126/patent-filing-claims-solar-energy.html

    • Joe Romm says:

      Keep hope alive!

    • BillD says:

      Could he really get a patent without at least making a prototype? Hard to believe that some basic theory would have overlooked for so long.

      • Merrelyn Emery says:

        Orthodoxy is the enemy of good theories. Look what has happened to many creative people with bright ideas, ME

    • fj says:

      Quickly commercialized energy innovations and discoveries in the multi-trillion dollar energy market are great . . . but, there are here-and-now methods for ramping up to scale right now getting us through very near-term year 2020 bottlenecks, dangers, and accelerating disasters.

      In any case, this gives an indication of what the future after 2050 might be like if we prevent unmitigated disaster by fully exploiting what we have now.

      http://dailyfusion.net/2013/05/buildings-may-be-powered-by-graphene-coated-walls-study-suggests-7488/

    • SecularAnimist says:

      I read the Miami Herald article, and with regret I have to say it sounds like bunk. A lot of vague hype, grandiose claims, quotes from non-scientists and non-engineers (mostly name-dropping the politicians he has talked to, really), with not a hint of what this purportedly revolutionary technology is all about, and of course no working prototype.

      He says he doesn’t want to give anything away until he has a patent, but you know what? Every day of the week I read articles at CleanTechnica.com about breakthroughs in solar photovoltaics and solar thermal technologies at corporate and government labs, where they freely discuss (and demonstrate with prototypes) the specifics of new and still unpatented technologies.

      I’ll believe this guy has got something when I see it.

      Meanwhile, today’s mature, powerful and proven solar technology is already at hand and ready to do the job that needs to be done.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Let’s hope it’s a grand breakthrough, but the means are already at hand to do the job, and all that is lacking is the Will.

      • prokaryotes says:

        True and it is probably relatively irrelevant looking at the mature clean technologies we have readily available today and which are projected to have the potential to deliver all we ever need.

    • fj says:

      Vehicles small and light enough to be easily powered by human power is a major net zero transit solution easily commercialized right now.

      Superinsulation is a major net zero buildings solution easily commercialized right now.

  4. fj says:

    It would have been much better if The Washington Post had written about how dangerous the situation is and that we must start mass action immediately on stopping accelerating climate change at wartime speed.

    The raises the dynamics.

    And, much better than continuing the debate on carbon tax.

    • Ed Leaver says:

      Proponents believe nothing will mobilize the U.S. low-carbon transition as quickly as a healthy carbon tax.

    • fj says:

      If getting the carbon tax is easy then get it; and it is not readily undermined like income tax, etc.

      But, don’t get distracted by it.

      Much better to face the crisis head on:

      Immediate large scale net zero and rapid environmental restoration initiatives.

    • fj says:

      The crisis is reality.

      The solutions must mitigate the crisis head on.

    • fj says:

      We have to do hazard mitgation of the extreme kind:

      1. Stop causing the hazard

      2. Batten down the hatches

      3. Eliminate the hazard

  5. Scott says:

    “four Pinocchios” and constructions like that may be easy to understand, but don’t they make truth and untruth into Disney characters for kids instead of issues for adults? It’s time to grow up.

  6. prokaryotes says:

    This is the main story atm…

    Media Misses Extreme Weather/Climate Connection
    http://climateforce.net/2013/05/09/media-misses-extreme-weatherclimate-connection/