Senior Republicans Push for Climate Action

February 8, 2017

I wish them good luck, but if they’re serious, maybe they should be visiting Moscow.

Washington Post:

A coalition of veteran GOP officials — including five who have either served as treasury secretary or as chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers — will meet Wednesday with top White House officials to discuss the prospect of imposing a national carbon tax, rather than using federal regulations, to address climate change.

The newly formed Climate Leadership Council — which includes James A. Baker, Henry Paulson, George P. Shultz, Marty Feldstein and Greg Mankiw — is proposing elimination of nearly all of the Obama administration’s climate policies in exchange for a rising carbon tax that starts at $40 per ton and is returned in the form of a quarterly check from the Social Security Administration to every American.

“Mounting evidence of climate change is growing too strong to ignore,” the proposal said. “While the extent to which climate change is due to man-made causes can be questioned, the risks associated with future warming are too big and should be hedged. At least we need an insurance policy.”

Despite the group’s impeccable Republican credentials — Baker, Paulson and Schultz served as treasury secretaries and Feldstein and Mankiw as CEA chairs, under GOP presidents — the proposal faces long odds.

Many congressional Republicans are adamantly against a tax increase of any kind, and President Trump repeatedly emphasized he is far more interested in promoting the extraction of fossil fuels in United States than curbing the nation’s carbon emissions.

A proposed carbon tax also failed recently in a ballot initiative in Washington state, in part because it divided the environmental and social left — with many liberals wanting to use any revenue to invest in clean energy and other social causes rather than to return it to the public.

Neither President Trump’s nor Vice President Pence’s spokespeople immediately responded to requests seeking comment on the carbon tax proposal, and Pence’s public schedule did not list the meeting with the group.



35 Responses to “Senior Republicans Push for Climate Action”

  1. Here’s the catch with the Climate Leadership Council’s new carbon tax proposal:

    It would also immunize fossil-fuel companies from lawsuits for damages done by their products—lawsuits such as those bound to arise from the revelations that ExxonMobil and other companies knew for decades about the climate damages their products cause, and lied about it.

    Charles Komanoff thinks it’s worth the trade. He’s the main writer at the Carbon Tax Center and an especially informed person on all aspects of carbon taxation. In the above excerpted piece he is also contributing to Citizen’s Climate Lobby’s carbon tax blog. My gut tells me doing the trade would be the right thing to do (a bird in the hand) but it would probably need Trump’s support and my gut tells me those are very long odds.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      My lord! Shockley thinks that “immunizing fossil fuel companies from lawsuits for damages” is “worth the trade”?

      Shockley is listening to his “gut”? Yeah, the very farthest end of it, and I suggest he get some Preparation H suppositories and apply them to the brain tumor that is developing there.

      • I’m going back to Russia. SMH.

      • So, DiaperGuy, are you just trying to quash discussion or did you actually have an analysis to offer to support your bad gas experience?

        You said earlier, seemingly in a hurry to get on to the next subject, “well I guess we just have to wait” (another 4 or 8 years for another change in administration). Seems that’s your whole intent regarding the carbon tax subject. Show me I’m wrong, and provide some actual reasoning for why it’s so obvious not to take the bird-in-the-hand option — if we could even get it. The quick math I did in my head makes dollars sense AND risk/reward sense. It’s possible waiting another 4 years, let alone 8 or more, for the birds in the bush to come in, risks the whole show, as Hansen notes that we are very close to (if not already beyond) the tipping point past which no human measures of mitigation will be sufficient to stop CO2 from growing ever greater in the atmosphere. That’s just the risk part. The hundreds of trillions of dollars cost to remove sufficient CO2 from the atmosphere once we already have put it there sounds like orders of magnitude more than we could ever recover from the oil companies. Have you done the math on what the difference in CO2 accumulation would be between starting a carbon tax now and starting it 4 or 8 years from now. Oh, you haven’t??? Then what makes my view so obviously wrong? We need lots of money to help developing countries grow their economies carbon-free, and I’m all for finding a way to do that, but there’s more ways than one and the will is what is important. Tax the rich, for example. They’ve been getting much more than their share for decades now. It happened before (the New Deal) and it can happen again. There’s plenty of money and it will go to waste if it’s not used. It would be a win-win for everybody except for a few (very few) bruised egos. We’ve waited way too long for a carbon tax and if they’re offering now, I’m taking (pending your contrary analysis — show me the numbers).

        I’ll just say FUCK YOU now, since I know you’re just going to come back with cute insults rather than serious discussion.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          You are a pathetic little worm, Shockley, saying FUCK YOU from the safety of whatever planet you live on rather than Earth. I may re-up with the Space Marines of Aliens 2 fame so that I can make a landing there and fuck you up (in my spare time). YOU are the one that’s “cute” with your insults, and your bright-sidedness and naivete make it impossible for you to see that. Speaking of “cute”, you said of me:

          “(DOG) said earlier, seemingly in a hurry to get on to the next subject, “well I guess we just have to wait” (another 4 or 8 years for another change in administration). Seems that’s your whole intent regarding the carbon tax subject”.

          What I ACTUALLY said was: “Whether or not the Climate Leadership Council is serious or some kind of smoke screen matters not. We are just going to have to wait a while and see where The Pussy Grabber and his “advisers” (puppet master Putin) take us”.

          So, unless you have reading problems, you have:
          1) Made a false assertion—-“seemingly in a hurry to get on….” refers to the thoughts in YOUR hemorrhoidal brain rather than to anything I said or implied.
          2) Tried to put words in my mouth—(another 4 or 8 years for another change in administration)—-I said NO such thing.
          3) Totally ignored the meaning of “see where The Pussy Grabber and his “advisers” (puppet master Putin) take us”, and the “while” I referenced is going to be weeks or months, not 4 to 8 years.
          4) Again tried to put words in my mouth in the last sentence. I gave NO clues as to my “whole intent” regarding the carbon tax. My only “intent” in commenting here was to point out that you are off the deep end (and GB is a bit also with his bright-sidedness about renewables ever being allowed to flourish by the plutocracy and corporatocracy—-but GB is far closer to truth than you are—-at least his “vision” is a positive one that MAY come true—-all you do is spout BS that makes one think you are a”delayalist” or “soft” denier in the employ of the fossil fuel interests—-but I’ve accused you of that before, haven’t I?).

          All that in two short sentences—quite an accomplishment—and the rest of your screed is filled with more confused and self-satisfied bullshit.

          “Show me I’m wrong, and provide some actual reasoning for why it’s so obvious not to take the bird-in-the-hand option — if we could even get it.”

          If we could even get it? Why are you arguing with yourself?

          I won’t waste the time to reply to the rest of your BS—-it looks like you’ve even worn GB out there, and he doesn’t tire easily. I am HUUUUUUUUGELY pissed after watching The Pussy Grabber’s press conference today, and the only numbers I’d show you from my “contrary analysis” is one size 12 and a five finger slap. You are so proud of your so-called “analysis” that you fail to see the forest for the trees (and that takes us full circle to my first comment about you bumping into them).

          Start buying your Preparation H in the large economy size and look for the Extra Strength formula.

          • As predicted, no hint as to why my analysis is worthy of ridicule — exactly as before when you condescendingly accused me of, so to speak, “bumping into trees” and not seeing the forest, for simply explaining the logic and mechanics of a revenue neutral carbon tax to GB. Plus your signature duplicitousness, taking offense at insults that are only in-kind retorts (surely as an army man and a self-proclaimed literati you must be aware of the ages old law of “first aggression”).

            You said,

            “Whether or not the Climate Leadership Council is serious or some kind of smoke screen matters not. We are just going to have to wait a while and see where The Pussy Grabber and his “advisers” (puppet master Putin) take us”.

            Which, if he is allowed to “take us” there can easily be inferred to be the end of his 1 or 2 terms, filling, as he is, his administration with FF lovers. That is his obvious intention.

            “Wait a while and see” vs drafting an unarguably desirable and politically viable plan to rapidly reduce FF emissions. Yes it matters whether the CLC is serious because if they are then there is a possible pathway to adoption of a carbon tax. A prospect that both Komanoff and myself give low odds, (thus my comment “if we could even get it”, which you handily twisted out of context), but definitely worth drawing attention to and assisting in any way possible.

            Who is the worm here (big or small)?

            In a previous thread discussing carbon taxes, you took “one glance” at my spreadsheet and decided it was over-the-top “bright-sided” but didn’t deign to point to any specifics. Ridicule as argument. You then proceeded to announce that I didn’t know how to do proper research and was making things up, whereupon I posted an update, fully footnoted so you could follow the calculations from sources to conclusions. No comment. Then, following that, you proclaimed that the country needs a revolution before we can hope to legislate to a carbon tax, so let’s stop wasting time talking about carbon taxes and get on with the revolution. And somewhere in there you declared a new resolution to stop wasting time with Tom Bates and the like.

            Back to the present.

            You could have simply explained why you think my preference for taking the trade (tax X amnesty) is ridiculous and dispensed with the ridicule. But that’s neither your style and presumably not your capability. Pages of print later we are no further along and, as predicted, you have provided no rationale for your ridicule.

            You were wrong about the Council’s intentions (smokescreen vs sincere) and it seems the more evidence I brought establishing this, the more your need to vindicate yourself with ridicule and smoke. Such a charming old guy…

            “all you do is spout BS that makes one think you are a”delayalist” or “soft” denier in the employ of the fossil fuel interests”

            “BS” — like, ridicule in place of facts and logic? Why do you and your “sincere” friend GB not want to talk about carbon taxes? Pot meet kettle.

            Expecting spelling and grammar corrections and more ridicule and “BS” and, voila!: PROOF

          • I should clarify, before I be declared “incoherent”, that while I say the proposed carbon tax has little chance of being passed, I also say that it is “politically viable”, because it would confer a political advantage to the sponsoring party that pushed and passed it, and likewise to Trump if he signed it. If Trump put aside his obstinacy and decided he wants a second term as President, he would gain popularity with the large segment of poorer folks in the country who would benefit financially by the rebates. As explained by Baker, the tax is self-perpetuating once instated.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Shockley just doesn’t get it. He is in the “bargaining” stage of Kubler-Ross, has not really left “denial”, and simply skipped over “anger” because he’s a wimp and a pussy and anger is for men. I am not ridiculing his analysis—-I am ridiculing HIM. Why? Because he acts like the mouse that has stolen the cheese from the mousetrap and is proudly dancing around saying ”Look at me!” with his “analysis” (and look at the first four letters of that last word—-they tell you something about Shockley) I think I’ve already fitted him for a “Demented Rooster Strutting in the Barnyard” suit and inducted him into” The Order of the Perfumed Sleeve Hanky”, but he has now earned some Oak Leaf clusters with this latest round of unconsciousness and self delusion.

            I guess saying FUCK YOU to me used up whatever “balls” he had, because he is now here pretending to be a literati, talking about MY duplicitousness (LOL), MY condescending, whining about laws of first aggression, and saying it’s MY fault that HE’s a self-absorbed twit—–“it’s only in-kind retorts”, he whines. And I doubt that he has ever served, so he may not know that Marines take offense at being called “an Army man”. Or perhaps he meant to say “soldier”, since he didn’t capitalize army (which is offensive to Army men). At any rate, I suggest that Shockley stay out of bars populated by ANYONE who has served or is serving—-or keep his mouth shut if he goes there—-he would likely get his ass kicked if he spouted the kind of BS he does here. I guarantee that a Marine Lance Corporal would respond to accusations of being a “literati” with “You calling me a queer?” and a knuckle sandwich.

            What IS your CV anyway, Shockley—-are YOU a “literati”? What did you study and what do you do in your day job? What qualifies you to do “analysis”?

            Back to Kubler-Ross and ‘bargaining”. Shockley simply refuses to accept that the election of Trump means that all bets are off the table and the rules of the game have been changed drastically—-he is afraid and unable or unwilling to factor that into his analysis—-that’s the denial and now this BS about how a carbon tax is going to save us (he often contradicts himself as he makes his case). The BS represents the “bargaining”—-i.e., “If I can only prove to myself and others that a carbon tax is so wonderful” maybe the TRUTH of what is happening will go away. NO such luck, Shockley, and I will repeat that we will have to wait to see if Trump DOES gut the EPA, back out of the Paris Accords, try to resurrect coal, support more drilling for gas and oil, deregulate Wall Street, cut taxes on the rich, etc, etc, etc—–all of those things will set the country back, and IMO a carbon tax is just NOT going to happen no matter how correct and wonderful your analysis may be.

            The rest of your comment from “you said” is just more childish whining and incoherent BS—not worth responding to except to say that you have a lot of nerve using the word “logic” in any context. It’s full of more little “pussy digs” of the kind that would get you slapped silly in any bar in the country.

          • Still can’t give an honest, relevant reply. Sober up before you start writing so you don’t waste my time. SMH.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            You are wise to concede defeat and walk away from this exchange. Thanks for the “sober up and don’t waste my time” parting shot as well as the SMH—-they prove my point about you being a W & a P.

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