We are seeing a unique confluence of events put a carbon tax squarely back into the national debate: the debt crisis and fiscal cliff, Hurricane Sandy, and the results of the 2012 election.
Sen. Majority Leader Reid said Wednesday:
“Climate change is an extremely important issue for me and I hope we can address it reasonably. It’s something, as we’ve seen with these storms that are overwhelming our country and the world, we need to do something about it.”
Reid said he hopes the Senate will take up a bill to put a price on carbon emissions if Democrats maintain control of the chamber….
Reid now has a much stronger hand. Democrats picked up 2 seats in the Senate. A few months ago Republicans were thought to have a good chance of seizing control of the Senate — now they have undercut their chances of taking back the Senate even in 2014. And newly elected Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) both explicitly campaigned on climate change.
No, Reid can’t do this single-handedly. But President Obama, reelected with the help of a decisive youth vote that rightly puts climate change near the top of the list of their concerns, himself said on election night:
“We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”
In the coming days and weeks, Climate Progress will explore the prospects for a carbon tax from all angles. We’ll also explore other policies that could potentially achieve the same kind of reductions. And we’ll try to set the record straight when we think the media doesn’t get it quite right, as with this CNN Money article, “Climate change is back on the table“: