New Greenhouse Gas Bill – A Hidden Value-Added Tax on Carbon

New Greenhouse Gas Bill – A Hidden Value-Added Tax on Carbon

The House recently passed a new Bill targeting greenhouse gasses and climate change.

The title of the Bill is: The Moving Forward Act 

One section of interest is: Subtitle G—Treasury Report on Data From the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. 

This section authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to: 

“[Determine] the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by each taxpayer for the purpose of imposing a fee on such taxpayers with respect to such emissions.”

That raises some interesting questions. 

The simplest way to arrive at this new tax on Americans is to take the total amount of CO2 emission and divide it by the population of the United States, and then tax every person on that basis.

But that’s probably not what’s envisioned, because it wouldn’t target the people who are creating the largest GHG emissions.

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has been an avid supporter of taking action to eliminate greenhouse gasses and it’s interesting to examine their vision.

Here is how RMI titled their article on the Moving Forward Act:

“New U.S. climate bill is unprecedented in ‘ambition, concrete details, and urgency’”

RMI’s vision of the next frontier of carbon pricing is enlightening as it leads to some obvious conclusions about how the Secretary of the Treasury would proceed under the Moving Forward Act.

From RMI Website

RMI’s new report, which details, “the importance of accurate, actionable data in creating resilient, low-carbon supply-chains and goods”, is instructive as it incorporates the complexity of the value chain displayed in the accompanying illustration.

RMI essentially calls for identifying the greenhouse gas content of each step in the process of manufacturing, producing or building a product or service.

It’s best viewed as a “value added tax” on each step in the process of creating a product or service, not unlike the value-added tax used in Europe.

This would be what the Secretary of the Treasury would aim for under the new Moving Forward Act.

This approach is essential for targeting every American’s greenhouse gas footprint so that every American can be taxed appropriately. The larger the footprint, the larger the GHG tax.

Try to imagine the size of the bureaucracy required to tabulate the GHG input at each step of the process, say for baking a loaf of bread or manufacturing a bicycle. And then also think about the huge reporting requirements that will be placed on industries and businesses everywhere in the United States.

The regulatory costs from the needed bureaucracy and required reporting by businesses will be immense and a huge drag on the economy. 

This is only one section in the 2,309-page Moving Forward Act. 

This House Bill is a re-do of the Cap and Trade Bill (American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009) passed by the House in 2009, and thankfully, not passed by the Senate.

Few, if anyone, read the Cap and trade Bill in 2009, and it’s doubtful anyone in the House has read the 2,309 pages of the ineptly named Moving Forward Act.

It’s also how to impose a new tax that’s hidden from the public, so that politicians can claim they will not raise taxes.

. . .

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