In Principle, ‘Revenues from the Carbon Market’ Means Taxes

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, held a news conference today to release her “Principles for Global Warming Legislation.” Choosing the highlight big-picture goals and ideas and good stuff instead of specific legislative language makes good sense as part of a strategy to get a bill passed. No specifics to get torn apart.

But even the principles, broadly stated, are clear enough. No. 5, for example:

Use revenues from the carbon market to:
– Keep consumers whole as our nation transitions to clean energy;
– Invest in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency measures;
– Assist states, localities and tribes in addressing and adapting to global warming impacts;
– Assist workers, businesses and communities, including manufacturing states, in the transition to a clean energy economy;
– Support efforts to conserve wildlife and natural systems threatened by global warming; and
-Work with the international community, including faith leaders, to provide support to developing nations in responding and adapting to global warming. In addition to other benefits, these actions will help avoid the threats to international stability and national security posed by global warming.

Boy, that’s a lot of government programming, spending, redistribution and work with the international community, including faith leaders. Enacting the principles will take billions and billions of “revenues from the carbon market,” which we take to mean a tax on energy production and consumption — whatever form it takes.

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