The Carbon Dividend: so why hasn’t this happened yet?

I’ve known that this concept existed for a while.  Now I’m starting to wonder why it’s not a bigger deal.  In its simplest form, the idea goes something like this: tax products that contribute to carbon emissions, then send every American a check with their share of the proceeds (estimated at $2,000 for a family of four).

There are some tricky topics, like how to protect American companies against rivals that don’t have to deal with this.  Or the basic question of what price to set the tax at ($43/ton is the proposed level starting in 2021).  And of course, you’d need a whole lot of infrastructure to monitor all this.  Still for the most part, it’s a pretty simple and effective solution to a really hard problem.

The most shocking thing about all this is that it has a ton of support (from all sides). Exxon-Mobil donated $1M to the effort (a token amount, but still).  Republican grandees are the most vocal and visible supporters of the plan.  55% of Republicans surveyed by the Climate Leadership Council and 58% of Democrats think it’s a good idea.  A lot of different kinds of people are saying that they are on board.

Which begs the question: why hasn’t this progressed farther?  Continue reading “The Carbon Dividend: so why hasn’t this happened yet?”