June 26, 2008

Take James Hansen one step further on carbon taxes

Earlier this week, I blogged about how NASA’s James Hansen, the conscience of modern global warming studies, favors a tax system on utilities rather than carbon caps with tradeable permits.

Let’s take him one step further.

A carbon tax, or series of carbon taxes, should go far further than on electric utilities.

Rather, the idea should be similar to that of European Union value-added taxes.

Take appliances. The better the Energy Star rating, the lower the tax.

Windows? Highest tax on old single-panes. Double-panes and even better ones pay less tax.

A VAT could even be extended to new home construction, or new business construction, based on the amount of insulation used, etc.

Hansen’s idea of using the tax monies to help low-income people directly with their utility bills, rather than filtering it through Congress, is still the right idea there.

For how this might play out, with evidence from elsewhere, DeSmog Blog lets us know what’s happening with Canadian carbon taxes.

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