Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A group of College Conservatives have sided with the Democrats and demanded climate action – though liberal media outlets are still sneering at them for being Conservative.
Young Republicans Want to Fight Climate Change 30 Years Too Late
College conservatives support a carbon dividend, but what they really need is a time machine.
By Harry Cheadle Dec 13 2019, 5:57am
There’s a climate “debate” in American politics today the same way there’s a debate between a car and the wall it’s driving toward. On one hand you have heated arguments among Democrats about whether radical, capitalism-destroying action is necessary to save the planet. On the other hand Republicans are rigidly opposed to even relatively moderate, market-based attempts to cut emissions—when one such measure was being considered by the Democratic-controlled Oregon state legislature this summer, GOP lawmakers literally fled the state to deny the Democrats a quorum and block the bill.
In that context, any sign of a hint that Republicans might be willing to even consider a compromise that leads to the federal government taking action on climate can be seen as a step in the right direction. So the formation of a group called Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends, a coalition of right-leaning college students, could be justifiably celebrated. The group, Reuters reports, launched this week and “backs a market-based solution, calling for an initial $40-a-ton tax on carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, at mines, wells or ports where it is produced.” This money would be paid out directly to Americans at the same time that what YCCD calls “burdensome regulations” would be slashed.
Read more: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/k7eep3/young-republicans-want-to-fight-climate-change-30-years-too-late
The original Reuters report includes a quote from one of their leaders;
Young U.S. Republicans defy party to fight climate change
Drawn from Republican groups on more than two dozen university campuses, the Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends called for laws to tax oil, natural gas and coal producers of planet-warming greenhouse gases.
The taxation plan would make fossil fuels more costly while the resulting revenues would go to taxpayers.
“We claim to be the party that cares about the future that our children will inherit, and we need climate policy that reflects that,” said Kiera O’Brien, 21, a senior at Harvard University who co-founded the group.
“We are offering up what we see as the common sense solution and the way forward for the party,” O’Brien told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-climate-politics-trfn/young-us-republicans-defy-party-to-fight-climate-change-idUSKBN1YG00J
The co-founder of Students for Carbon Dividends quoted in the Reuters article is Kiera O’Brien, a student at Harvard and former president of the Harvard Republican Club.
I’m disappointed. Not because Kiera O’Brien is worried about climate change, but because she and her group are not acting like conservatives; she wants to introduce a new tax.
Pretty much everywhere which attempts to introduce a carbon tax eventually abandons it, because carbon taxes don’t work. Energy intensive manufacturing and industry flee the cost of the new tax, manufacturing jobs crash and politicians abandon the tax once voters figure out the cause of their misery.
Kiera, why would any business person in their right mind hang around and pay your carbon tax, when they can cut costs and relocate to a “developing country” beyond the reach of your artificially inflated energy prices?
One of the main reasons so many jobs are returning to the USA right now is President Trump ditched the Paris Agreement. By renouncing the Paris Agreement, President Trump provided a credible assurance to investors that he and the Republican Party intend to stand up to the green bullies, and keep US energy prices affordable and globally competitive.
Your proposed “border carbon adjustments” would not help US exporters. It would still make sense for manufacturers to relocate, pay the border adjustment tax for exports to the USA, but remain globally competitive in other markets. And there would be enormous perverse incentives to misapply the border tax. As P.J. O’Rourke once said, “When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”
If Kiera wants to campaign for a climate policy, it’s a free country. But Kiera, please put a little thought into it; at least advance a policy idea which makes sense.
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