Is a Tax on Carbon Emission a Way to Combat Global Warming?
In today’s modern world, and especially during our current political environment, there is a big question of how important environmental issues are going to be now in our changing American government. Now that things are evolving and a new generation is casting their votes, most Americans are curious to see how the votes turn out and what are politicians will do regarding getting more awareness for climate change. After the elections, the next big concern is if the people within our American government decide to take real action against global warming, how are they going to do it? In the past several years, there has already been changes going on. One of the methods the American government has tried to enforce is a carbon emission tax.
The Carbon Emission Tax addresses the problem our climate has been facing; too much carbon dioxide (CO2) release. The purpose of the tax is to reduce carbon emissions by creating an incentive to do so; money. Because the release of CO2 is mainly caused from combustion of fossil fuels, this means the tax will be affecting a large part of our everyday lives as Americans and the companies that allow us to live them. The tax would either be placed on the emissions directly, or the fuels that release the CO2 (fossil fuels). The technology we have built to be able to use carbon for electricity, heat, transportation, etc. is being looked over for the long term effects and with this tax, are presumably going to be replaced with newer, more efficient technology. Because this tax would affect the way our country is ran, there are many companies, organizations, officials, and individuals taking their pick of what they believe would be best for our country. When dealing with the conversation of taxes and money, finding a solution is surely not the easiest matter.
There are many concerns that arise in the Carbon Tax; how much it would cost and who would really be paying the tax, what effects will this have and how soon will they occur, and lastly, if there are other ways we can maybe fix the general issue of climate change/global warming. Those in favor see the positive effects this would have for our climate and economy while those against it really worry about the costs and if this will really do anything for our climate. Both of the sides from my research seem to have a different understanding of how the tax will work and people really seem to pick their stance based off their own values and what they expect to happen. Until the tax is enforced, there is no way to really know.
What is known however is that America is a well developed country filled with a lot of drive, as well as a lot of greed, so there is no surprise that money seems to be one, if not the largest issue in getting this tax enforced by law. For those in support of the tax, they agree that money is the drive of most things and by implementing this tax, it will force companies to begin research in more conservation strategies. They believe the money (revenue) will be returned to all Americans in fair amounts of time (Patterson, 2018). Unlike those against the tax, they believe the price will be fair and that it will be used to incentivize for the overall public good. For the large companies like Exonn Mobile who rely on carbon directly, the tax could mean an alternative to regulation by the EPA which is why even these companies are in support. Another argument supporters make is that this is the best way to address climate change. As a patron, they tend to feel there is some moral obligation to fixing the problem of climate change and because it starts with mainly our high consumption of fossil fuels, the carbon tax seems like the best solution. The tax will eventually switch us from using fossil fuels to now using more electricity which will keep more money within the state, which is why supporters tend to be from both sides. (Tangerman, 2018). This is why not all supporters of the carbon tax are liberals or even environmentalists. There are many who are conservatives who have found that the tax is beneficial for them economically.
Though there are supporters from both sides, there are also those against the carbon tax from both sides. Those who are against the tax believe that money is a huge factor in this decision and that the environmental concerns might not override it. The purpose of the carbon tax is to bring initiative and rather a push towards more environmentally friendly ways of creating the energy we use to light houses and power cars. To those against the tax, it does not come as easy as creating new technology.
The Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) is a grassroots advocacy organization that mentions on their website that there will be monthly dividends in place to make sure Americans can afford the energy that they need daily during the transition period. From their research, they argue that this tax will decrease 52% of CO2 emissions in 20 years and that recycling the revenue creates an economic stimulus that adds 2.8 million jobs to the economy. In their eyes, the money will be given back and this tax is not a cheat.
The President has a lot of power in influencing the decision of the carbon tax. His answer to the policy question should be based off of what is right and what Americans feel is important. For this reason, I believe President Trump should support the tax on carbon emissions. By doing my research and really looking at those who support and those who are against the tax, I see that the sides are really not so divided. Those who support the tax care about the environment strongly, but that is not to say the side that is against the tax does not as well. Most Americans truly want to fix the damage we have caused. It was surprising to see companies like Exxon mobile supporting the tax, however, it is no surprise that people are looking for change and are realizing that money is the push we need to getting things done. As discussed prior, the idea of the tax is incentive. The hope is that we can run this country more efficiently. As the President, you have the power of being a bully pulpit? which greatly affects the beliefs of the individual Americans who watch you as you give speeches.
The cost should not be based off a random number, but instead, it should reflect how much use of fossil fuels there is in the United States and off of how much damage it causes for our health as humans and the life within our environment.
The carbon tax is neither good or bad. As Tangerman from the Rutland Herald says, the carbon tax is a tool; the “”good or bad”” determination comes in whether we value the service provided (Chesnut-Tangerman, 2018).
Carbon tax should not be the end to this change. Though probably the most crucial change we need to make as American’s is the reduction of our carbon footprint, there are many other changes we can make as well that would require changing our lifestyles to be more agricultural. In the end, the President needs to realize choosing which ones to follow through with our limitless, in that we don’t have to pick just one!
People tend to dismiss these types of ideas, facts, and real issues just because they do not agree with a certain policy, however, you can change that.