Thursday, November 22, 2012

A carbon tax would be good for nuclear energy, too

Nature magazine has an editorial out advocating a carbon tax for the United States.

America's carbon compromise

An excerpt:
" Just consider the possibilities. To put a levy on carbon would raise revenues that could be used to offset lower tax rates for individuals and businesses. This is what conservatives say they want to do. It would put more income — and thus choice — in the hands of consumers. Economists like the idea for more fundamental reasons. Generally, it is best to tax things that one wishes to discourage (such as smoking) rather than those that should be encouraged (such as working). Environmentalists like the idea of a carbon tax because it could generate some much-needed revenue for clean-energy research and development while reducing carbon emissions. "

Yes, that last sentence - not just clean energy R&D, but money to complete, expand, and make even MORE safer (as if that was really necessary) existing and under-construction nuclear power plants.  Which would contribute MORE to the energy mix required to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It's thus a win-win-win situation.  Done right, no downsides.  Seriously.

(And let's note this second excerpt:  "Opposition to the idea may not be what it was. For example, on 13 November, the American Enterprise Institute hosted a conference in Washington DC on the economics of a carbon tax. The institute is a conservative think tank, and its officials have previously raised doubts about climate science. The idea has also been bubbling up in other right-leaning think tanks as a conservative solution to reduce greenhouse gases.")

Like I said.  Seriously.

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