I am a strong believer in the power of the tax code. Rewarding or discouraging bahavior by the use of the tax code has proven to be extremely effective. Generally, I like the idea of a Carbon Tax because the one thing that will always motivate the private sector is money. A new report released by the Congressional Research Service (September 17, 2012) states that based on it's application, a Carbon Tax could potentially reduce the deficit by 1.2 trillion dollars over a ten year period. That's enough to get even conservatives on board the tax train.
The complete report is extremely well cited, not too lengthy to wade through and very detailed. It can be found here:
The report is written by the staff of the Congressional Research Service (CRS). In case you have never heard of the CRS this information is directly from their website: The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for nearly a century.
I liked the fact that at the beginning of the report, on page 2, the authors state that, "Almost all climate scientists agree14 that these CO2 increases have contributed to a warmer climate today, and that, if they continue, will contribute to future climate change." . It was refreshing to see such a statement in a government report. This is avery readable report. It presents an extremely reasonable plan for the implementation of different taxes for different fossil fuels, i.e., since coal is more harmful to the atmosphere than natural gas it should be taxed higher. I recommend that everyone take a few moments to look at this report. Using the tax code to encourage less carbon emmissions is an idea that needs to be implemented.