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Unlike the know-nothings below, I think this is a wonderful idea.

A carbon tax with the money returning equally to all taxpayers means lower income people will be helped, not hurt, in part because they are more often users of mass transportation. Further, mass transit will become more economically competitive. Since they spend less on stuff, they use less of the carbon based energy used to make that stuff- and yet will get their proportion from that as well.

Alternative technologies already exist or nearly so. A bit of a bump in their favor without trying to pick and choose what alternative works best makes use of the market, technology and entrepreneurial creativity, not government planners. The effect will be the same as if any resource becomes more scarce and so more costly: substitutes and greater efficiency will be the result. Just what we want.

As for the whine that it’s a subsidy for non-carbon, carbon fuels have been heavily subsidized directly via things like eminent domain for pipelines and minimal requirements to pay for environmental damage by coal production, it has been indirectly subsidized as in our Middle East policy that is expensive and kills hundreds of thousands. so we pay an artificially low price for it. Would we care that much if there were no oil over there? No.

Oh, and it might help make the world more habitable for future generations, not that the deniers give a damn. But the rest of us do.

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