Letter: Carbon tax a way to get biz, people to alter habits

Editor,

This is in response to the Nov. 6 South Whidbey Record letter to the editor supporting a carbon fee bill.

A carbon fee, or tax, is but another way to force businesses and people to alter their habits or behavior, like Seattle’s sugar tax, and extra taxes on firearms and ammunition purchases are not what taxes are supposed to be used for.

A carbon fee or tax is extremely regressive and would add to the cost of many products and services, the costs being recouped by businesses by increasing prices and have little to no effect on climate, only the taxpayer.

Carbon makes up about .04 percent of Earth’s atmosphere.

Much atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves into seawater and soil and becomes raw material for photosynthesis required by plant life to produce the oxygen we breathe.

The most prominent “conservative” proposals for a carbon tax would reduce global temperatures in the year 2100 by about 0.015°C, as estimated by the EPA climate model.

The central impact of a carbon tax would be a big increase in the prices of conventional energy but would inevitably be watered down by special interests. It will surely exempt aviation and maritime fuel, as well as energy intensive, trade-dependent businesses, such as steel plants, aluminum producers, and pulp and paper mills.

Any carbon taxes will keep rising, as politicians seek increased revenue for pet projects. Nothing will happen to all those, already in force, climate change fees, taxes and regulations.

They will remain. All we will get is higher taxes plus stifling environmental regulations.

President Obama observed in his 2014 State of the Union address: “Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on earth.”

Then again, do you trust the politicians and state legislature to keep hands off the money and not increase the tax?

Plans to return the fees to the taxpayers will only last so long before politicians realize they could better use the tax money elsewhere.

The carbon tax will become just another government tax grab and no one is going to feel any climate benefits anytime soon, or likely ever.

To environmentalists it is all about feeling good by doing something for earth and the climate. But they should direct their efforts toward China and India, massive polluters, and back off on stifling America’s economy that is already reducing its carbon footprint without a carbon tax.

Ed Hickey

Oak Harbor

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