Putting a price on carbon will benefit environment and cut deficit by raising money, Henry Waxman arguesSuzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 March 2012
The way Henry Waxman sees it, Congress faces two huge challenges: cutting the deficit and protecting the country from the worst consequences of climate change. Why not act on both together? Cutting the US government deficit and protecting the country from the worst consequences of climate change can go hand in hand, according to a congressman who wants to put a price on carbon emission from industry.
Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who managed to pass a climate change bill through the house of representatives in 2009 – only to see it rejected in the Senate – on Monday put forward the idea that it may actually make things easier to deal with two extremely intractable and highly charged problems at once.
The start of 2013 is crunch time for deficit reduction. Both available options – raising taxes or cutting social spending – come with a heavy political price. But by finding a way to make industry pay for the emissions that cause global warming, Congress could find a new revenue stream, Waxman argued. "A price on carbon can bring in a substantial amount of money to deal with our fiscal problems," he said.
Waxman is shopping his idea just as Congress begins to re-engage on the battle over government spending. Paul Ryan, the house budget chairman, is due to release his new plan on Tuesday.
"We've got two major problems that are easier to solve together, the fiscal problem and climate change," Waxman said in a speech to the Centre for American Progress. The liberal thinktank has served as an incubator for a number of Barack Obama's policies - and provided jobs to departing officials from his administration. It had produced a similar version of Waxman's proposal last autumn, arguing that carbon prices would cut the deficit and create jobs.
Continue reading: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/19/carbon-emissions-price-plan-us