NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 15, 2005

A major American energy company has proposed a bad idea from the Clinton/Gore era -- a "carbon tax" that would cost the U.S. economy about $30 billion a year, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

The tax would be assessed on the energy content of all fossil fuels, including oil, natural gas, coal per British thermal unit (BTU). It would allegedly reduce pollution and promote alternative energy usage. According to IBD:

  • The tax would cost an average family of four about $300 per year.
  • The tax would kill jobs as well; indeed, a similar measure, the Kyoto protocol would cost the United States about 4.9 million jobs.
  • Kyoto measures in Britain, Germany and Italy will reduce their GDPs by 4 to 5.2 percent.

Furthermore, carbon taxes and Kyoto measures would hardly put a dent in greenhouse gas emissions. Without Kyoto, global temperatures are expected to increase 1.95 degrees Celsius by 2094, but Kyoto measures will only postpone the increase by six years, notes IBD.

Many skeptics, such as statistician Bjorn Lomborg, argue that Kyoto will exacerbate global poverty with little reduction in global warming.

Source: Editorial, "The Carbon Tax: Green and Bear It," Investor?s Business Daily, April 12, 2005.


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