• 3 minutes 2nd Annual Great Oil Price Prediction Challenge of 2019
  • 6 minutes "Leaked" request by some Democrats that they were asking Nancy to coordinate censure instead of impeachment.
  • 11 minutes Trump's China Strategy: Death By a Thousand Paper Cuts
  • 14 minutes Democrats through impeachment process helped Trump go out of China deal conundrum. Now Trump can safely postpone deal till after November 2020 elections
  • 2 hours Shale Oil Fiasco
  • 10 mins Everything you think you know about economics is WRONG!
  • 45 mins Wallstreet's "acid test" for Democrat Presidential candidate to receive their financial support . . . Support "Carried Interest"
  • 10 hours USA v China. Which is 'best'?
  • 9 hours Global Debt Worries. How Will This End?
  • 1 day My interview on PDVSA Petrocaribe and corruption
  • 9 hours Judiciary impeachment: Congressman says Sean Misko, Abigail Grace and unnamed 3rd (Ciaramella) need to testify.
  • 2 days Wonders of US Shale: US Shale Benefits: The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018
  • 17 hours Quotes from the Widowmaker
  • 2 days Petroleum Industry Domain Names
  • 17 hours Tesla Launches Faster Third Generation Supercharger
  • 10 hours Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukraine Oil & Gas exploration company Burisma, and 2020 U.S. election shenanigans
  • 9 hours Winter Storms Hitting Continental US
Alt Text

Oil Jumps On ‘’Saudi Surprise’’

Oil prices rose on Friday…

Alt Text

Iraq In Crisis As Oil Is Threatened

Both the U.S. and Iran…

Llewellyn King

Llewellyn King

Llewellyn King is the executive producer and host of "White House Chronicle" on PBS. His e-mail address is lking@kingpublishing.com

More Info

Premium Content

How A Carbon Tax Would Be Implemented

There are no solutions to complex problems – except when the problem becomes so complex it must have a simple solution.

That is the paradox thrown up by global warming and the shattering report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report cries out for dramatic, simple remediation of the amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere every day by industrial society.

The complex solution is a case-by-case, country-by-country, industry-by-industry, polluter-by-polluter remediation: power plants, automobiles, trucks, trains, ships, aircraft and manufacturers.

The simple solution to this complex problem is to tax carbon emissions: a carbon tax. Make no mistake, it would be tough. Some industries would bear the brunt and their customers would carry the burden -- initially a light burden growing to a heavier one.

The obvious place to start is with electric utilities. Those burning coal would get the heaviest penalty. Those burning natural gas – the fuel favored by its low price and abundance in the nation -- some penalty, but not as heavy.

Nuclear, which is having a hard time in the marketplace at present, would be the big winner of the central station technologies, and solar and wind would continue to be favored.

When it comes to transportation and farming, the pain of carbon taxation rises. The automobile user has choices like a smaller car, an electric car or simply less driving. But heavy transportation, using diesel or kerosene, is where the pain will be felt: buses, trucks, tractors, trains, aircraft and ships. The burden here is direct and would push up prices to consumers quickly.

Jets are a particularly vexing problem. Although they represent about 3.5 percent of pollution, it is the altitude at which they operate (above 30,000 feet) that makes them particularly lethal greenhouse gas emitters.

A carbon tax must be introduced gradually but firmly so that technology and alternatives have a chance of coming to the rescue. Some things, like airline tickets, will just cost more before manufacturers improve engines and work on new propulsion. Farming will he hard hit, and farmers may have to get rebates. Related: Oil Markets Take A Bearish Turn

When a carbon tax was proposed in the 1970s, it was defeated in Congress by a phalanx of industry groups led by the American Petroleum Institute and the National Coal Association, now part of the National Mining Congress. Its purpose then was to cut demand for fuel during the energy crisis, which was in full swing. Today these groups are less vocal on the subject as their members begin to entertain the idea of a tax.

Although Congress is still opposed to it -- an anti-carbon tax resolution was overwhelmingly passed in the House in July -- industry is coming around. ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total have signed on, and several Republican lobbying groups outside of Congress are working with members of the House and Senate, including the new Americans for Tax Dividends. Alex Flint, executive director of the Alliance for Market Solutions, an influential group of Republican graybeards and financiers, says they get a good hearing in private conversations with lawmakers.

The U.N. climate study with its awesome conclusions may have come too late to play a big role in the midterm elections. But, especially after hurricanes Florence and Michael, it will blow through the 116th Congress at gale force, the public demanding action.

The quick fix -- rough-and-ready and punitive -- may be the only quick fix: Tax carbon where it enters the atmosphere. History tells us the economy will adjust creatively.

By Llewellyn King for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • Louis Spring on October 13 2018 said:
    Never mind the economic Great depression which would result from billions of people losing their jobs in these punitively taxed industries worldwide. This is frankly the least thought out answer the author could post. A dumb idea.
  • Dan on October 13 2018 said:
    "I shall tax them". King George. Didn't work then. We have more guns now to stop those who only make money by stealing others.
  • Lee James on October 14 2018 said:
    Yep, carbon pollution is proving mighty inconvenient. A lot of Americans can't see to pay for today's pollution, today. But it is the conservative thing to do -- face up to what things cost, and don't owe.

    We're human. Market-based controls provide feedback on our bad habits. Place a gradually increasing price on carbon where it first enters our economy. It's the simplest and most across- the-board-approach. However, we also provide safeguards for the most vulnerable; folks of limited means that have the least ability to pollute in the first place.

    The U.S. is lagging behind the rest of the world on the issue of paying for pollution -- even way behind China.
  • Dan on October 15 2018 said:
    Complete nonsense based on lies.
  • Well Done on October 15 2018 said:
    How about we forget the stupid and usurous carbon tax altogether? The UN are full of it anyway, they lie.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play