Lately, a few state legislative bodies, as well as some national political elites, have been pushing for a new way to curb the use of fossil fuels and all they make possible, through a new tax – a carbon tax. This idea has been floated around for some time, but many representing a diverse set of interests have opposed it because when you peel back the layers of anti-fossil fuel rhetoric, taxing carbon would have devastating effects on the economy, our food security, availability of energy, and our everyday lives.
This latest attempt for the tax is nothing more than a token gesture by elites, who will be least affected by the tax, providing them with the hollow comfort that they are “doing something” to help the environment. But, in reality, they are simply increasing the cost of goods and services on consumers, hitting those who can least afford it the most.
This proposed tax is often accompanied by a promise to use the proceeds to advance “green energy,” however, in the case of taxes, this rarely happens. Instead, money is often siphoned away for other uses. The end result will likely be that the tax will do nothing to address climate change, and only increase regulatory burdens in an already over-regulated marketplace.
Many supporters have sold it as a way to “level the playing field” for renewable energy sources. But, a true level playing field exists in a fair and open market, not one that taxes one source to benefit others.
A carbon tax is nothing more than a regressive tax that punishes the poorest, while its champions – celebrities and millionaires – continue to fly on private jets and heat and cool their expansive multiple mansions, without consequences. Clearly the individuals pushing this have little regard to its impact on those who live paycheck-to-paycheck, who work day-in and day-out to keep food on the table, and to keep the lights on.
By design, a tax on carbon rises at an ever-increasing rate, until the costs become unbearable and the use of fossil fuels diminish. But what will the intended effects really be?
Well, the cost of goods and services, from medical equipment and devices, to clothing to food, fuel and travel, will all go up.
Those arguing for a carbon tax have a fundamental misunderstanding of what fossil fuels make possible. Fossil fuels are not only used to produce the fuel to power our cars, planes, and farm equipment, but they make up the feedstocks for petrochemical manufacturers, who make so many things possible, including cell phones, airbags, body armor for our police and armed forces, high tech prosthetic limbs, as well as components found in solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars!
And, fossil fuels are used on the farm to harvest and convert crops
to biofuels as well – so without fossil fuels there is no alternative energy – not to mention that we can’t control the amount of time the sun shines or how much the wind blows.
Energy is essential to mankind’s progress and our current way of life. With increased energy comes increased sanitation, increased life expectancy, increased prosperity and advances in medical technology, as well as other scientific breakthroughs.
Energy has been the engine behind the progress of what was truly a transformative century. The idea to halt progress under the notion that a tax will save the environment is a flawed approach that will only create severe economic harm by stifling job growth and creating an impossible burden for middle and low income families. The consequences of a carbon tax are far reaching, and if put in place, would make daily necessities more expensive and less attainable.
So, next time you hear someone promote a “carbon tax,” think of the cascading effects it will have on manufacturing, jobs, energy abundance, and how energy and the products derived from fossil fuels make not only great breakthroughs possible, but also the necessities of daily life that we all rely on.
Make no mistake, the effects would be catastrophic, which is why a carbon tax is something to be avoided at all costs.