A carbon tax that sends checks to Americans could pass this fall – Interview with Harold Hedelman, chief business officer
I had a brief conversation with Harold Hedelman, the co-founder of Business Climate Leaders (BCL), the other day. We talked about the critical need for a carbon tax and he shared some information with me. BCL is a non-partisan group that works with businesses to advocate for carbon pricing and market-based climate solutions.
Harold explained that BCL is a lobbying group. Most of us tend to have a negative view of lobbyists in general, but lobbyists can also lobby for legislation critical to the future of humanity. Dealers are pressuring legislatures to pass laws that benefit them financially while harming consumers. Other companies use this tactic to do the same. However, if you want to beat the game you have to play it, and BCL does it by working with leaders from all sectors to help point our political leaders in the right direction. The goal is to enact legislation that puts a price on carbon. Everyone on this planet would benefit.
“When Musk says ‘just have a carbon tax and the market will do the right thing,’ he knows electric vehicles aren’t the only beneficiary. Everywhere in the economy, changes will occur, things like investment dollars shifting from fossil fuels to renewables, R&D and energy efficiency. It’s like that Cabaret song “Money, money, money makes the world go round!” Harold then referred to Elon Musk’s interview with Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “Honestly, my main recommendation would be to just add a carbon tax,” said Elon Musk.
Senate’s next reconciliation package includes carbon tax
For those who may not have kept pace, the Senate will soon be voting on a reconciliation package and one of the things in that package is a carbon tax proposal that would force fossil fuel companies to start pay for the pollution that they profit enormously from the creation. Harold told me that the BCL urgently needed everyone’s help to contact our representatives and share their support on this matter. A carbon tax would specifically impose fees on companies that emit greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide and fall largely on oil and gas companies.
Yahoo! Finance reported that Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) said there is growing bipartisan support for the implementation of a carbon tax that would hold fossil fuel companies to account.
You can help
You can take action now by sending a letter to your representative in the House. Click here to do so. Then you can also call them. After that you can write and / or call your US Senators. Click here to write and call them. If you want to take it a step further, Harold suggested asking your friends and family to do the same.
The importance of a carbon tax
CNN Fareed Zakaria explained why pricing carbon pollution is the easiest and most elegant way to decarbonize our global economy. He explained that at the heart of the infrastructure struggle in Washington is a simple question: Should the United States raise corporate taxes to raise money to fight climate change? He then summarized:
“Republicans point out that whatever you tax, you get less and today’s economy needs more business activity, not less. This is a fair point. So the answer, for me at least, is obvious. Let us tax what we all agree we want less, which is carbon dioxide emissions.
“The fundamental reason we are not making much progress in reducing carbon emissions is that they are everywhere. We tend to focus on electricity and transportation, but these sectors only account for about half of America’s greenhouse gas emissions. When we make cement, it emits carbon. Even if you have solar panels and drive an electric car, the process of making the panels and the car generates carbon. Our food production creates huge amounts of greenhouse gases.
“We could try to reduce carbon emissions sector by sector, enact a lot of regulations to impose emission reductions and spend large sums of money to support certain technologies. This is essentially the current approach. Clumsy, selective and subject to political oscillations. The government is essentially adding red tape and picking winners and losers. “
Zakaria suggested that instead of these awkward “solutions” we should unleash market power to solve the problem and said that is what a carbon tax would do.
“Think of it like putting a price on carbon. Ensure that all products reflect their true cost to society by charging a fee for carbon pollution. As a result, every industry and company would have a strong incentive to reduce emissions every time they occur. And instead of the government telling them how to do it, they would be free to find the best and cheapest way. Zakaria noted that hundreds of solutions would flourish if we implemented a carbon tax.
How this climate bill could send money to Americans, save the planet and grow our economy
Forbes recently published an article on how this climate bill would send checks to Americans, save the planet, and grow our economy. The author explained that the word “tax” is technically a roadblock that creates a knee-jerk reaction among Republicans and tax critics in general. He explained that there is a specific carbon tax law, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), which would actually use carbon tax funds to create jobs, grow the economy and even send checks. monthly to US households. .
In the following part of her video, Zakaria also mentions this dividend and breaks it down:
“The idea is to take at least some of the revenue generated by the carbon tax and give it back to people, by sending checks every few months. Remember how popular stimulus checks were? Polls show that two-thirds of Americans support the basic idea behind carbon dividends. A growing number of Conservatives are supporting this idea. They are mostly former Republican officials, but some Republican lawmakers like Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham have expressed interest. The US Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute now also support carbon pricing. “
In the Forbes article, the author pointed out that economists believe it will work. In 2019, 3,567 economists, including 28 Nobel Prize-winning economists, 4 former Presidents of the Federal Reserve and 15 former Presidents of the Council of Economic Advisers, announced their support for carbon royalties and dividends.
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