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Despite Surging Energy Prices, Desperate Dems Pressing For A Carbon Tax

sheldon whitehouse

As the 117th Congress careens into its final months, and the party that controls the Senate, the House, and the presidency begins to assess its somewhat limited record of achievement, there will certainly be lots of terrible ideas offered by the increasingly desperate Democratic members of Congress.

Heading that list has to be the legislation from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, who has apparently taken a moment or two away from both of his all-White (or just about all-White) yacht clubs and decided that what the nation needs is higher energy prices. [bold, links added]

His legislation would impose a carbon border adjustment tax, which sounds imposing, but is pretty simple.

If the United States imports energy that has the potential to create greater emissions of greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide) than our domestic energy, a tax would be imposed on those imports. The same mechanism works for finished goods.

If their manufacture results in higher levels of greenhouse gases, a tax that attempts to capture the value of the difference in greenhouse gases emitted would be imposed on the goods.

There are a couple of problems with this.

Most immediately and destructively, it would create a backdoor tax on energy.

Everything made, everything transported, and everything that keeps people warm or provides electricity invariably involves the use of natural gas, oil, or coal.

No matter where or when it is imposed, a “carbon dioxide” tax is a tax on energy.

Make no mistake. Consumers would pay this tax. Businesses would just pass along the cost.

To his great credit, Mr. Whitehouse recognizes that our trade commitments require that an import tax on carbon dioxide would obligate the U.S. to impose a tax on our own domestically produced energy and goods.

That is, of course, the real goal of the enterprise — to impose an energy tax on the American economy.

Like all energy taxes everywhere, this tax would be regressive, falling hardest on those least able to afford it — the poor, the elderly, those on fixed incomes, and local institutions such as schools and hospitals.

Such a tax would not affect the trajectory of global warming at all. But it would make everything that is made possible by energy — so, essentially everything in a modern economy — more expensive.

Mr. Whitehouse’s legislation would increase the cost of home heating oil, natural gas, and gasoline – by about 50 cents per gallon to start.

No clue why Team Biden and the environmental community aren’t talking more about this great, well-timed idea.

In response to Mr. Whitehouse’s legislation, colleague Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, adopted the attitude of: “Hold my beer.”

His legislation (S.2378), introduced a year ago but which is now starting to get some traction among Democrats [and RINOs], also would impose a tax on imports of products made from or containing carbon dioxide.

To be compliant with our trade obligations, his legislation also would require a domestic energy tax.

But Mr. Coons wants the Environmental Protection Agency to help set the price of that tax, so you have to think it would match the prices the agency uses to estimate the cost of regulations.

That would add as much as $1.50 to each gallon of gasoline. Mr. Coons doesn’t stop there. Tucked deep inside the legislation is a provision that would do something Congress has never done — give EPA explicit authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

Page 6 of the legislation lays it out: “… to comply with any Federal, State, regional, or local law, regulation, policy or program which is (1) in effect at the time of such determination, including any such law, regulation, policy, or program which is implemented after the date of enactment of the FAIR Transition and Competition Act, and (2) designed to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emission, including (A) the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401).”

Finally, and most disturbingly, it has become clear that there are those in corporate America who would be happy to see Mr. Whitehouse or Mr. Coons successfully increase the price of energy for consumers, especially if the alternative is an increase in corporate taxes.

It would be good to know where, exactly, the business community stands on these proposed laws.

It would be especially helpful to learn where the Business Roundtable or the Chamber of Commerce, stand on this legislation, especially since they have made it clear that they support new energy (carbon dioxide) taxes.

At the moment, it seems as if they would rather see their customers suffer than take increased corporate taxation head-on.

One can almost understand the senators. They have political reasons for despising consumers. The business community supporting more taxation on their customers is another matter altogether.

Read more at Washington Times

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