The rejected carbon tax would have increased the price of gasoline for consumers, though the tax would have been placed on gasoline suppliers. courtesy Flickr

Carbon tax viable option to improve environment

The implementation of a carbon tax could provide a financial launchpad for renewable energy.

The concept of a carbon tax is one of the new policies that members of state governments are putting forward to promote the growth of renewable energy resources. For those unaware, a carbon tax is a tax on the amount of carbon dioxide that companies produce. This commonly works out in the manner that for every ton of carbon dioxide produced, companies would be required to pay a specified amount in taxes. This money is then normally spent on promoting renewable energy or fighting against climate change.

However, state governments have not had much success across the United States in trying to implement carbon taxes. In the state of Washington recently, the first straight carbon tax in the nation was rejected by voters.

This law would have forced energy companies to pay $15 for each ton of carbon dioxide produced beginning in 2020. This price would increase by $2 every year until 2035 when it would reach its cap at $55 a ton. This money would then be used to promote renewable energy, public transportation and support rural communities vulnerable to climate change.

While this effort failed in Washington, it is nonetheless a good set of legislation that will help fight against the problems of climate change that is facing our world. It will promote the growth of renewable energy, improve our current infrastructure and help those who will be negatively affected by climate change.

One of the major benefits of the legislation rejected in Washington was the funds it would have provided for those in rural areas who will be heavily affected by global warming. For example, the money would have been used to improve aging rural school buses that produce excess carbon dioxide due to their antiquated design. Another example was the creation of new ways to remove animal waste from waterways and potable water sources. Through similar methods, we could improve the environment as well as improve the lives of those who live in primarily rural areas.

The system of taxing carbon dioxide would not only provide a base of funds in which to perform these legislative plans, it would also promote renewable energy for large energy producers. It would become economically viable for these companies to create new wings of renewable energy in their corporate scheme. The constant tax would be a drain on financial resources, incentivizing growth in the field of renewable energy. Through this method, renewable energy has the ability to grow without taxes being foisted on the average citizen.

The carbon tax is also essential for reducing the effects of global warming across the globe. In a New York Times article about the recent United Nations climate report, the UN argued that “putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions would be central for getting global warming under control.” Also in the UN report, they claimed that reducing greenhouse gases is a necessary element in the future or else the world will face deep economic problems.

By implementing such a tax or similar plan, we can help reduce the impact of global warming while not immediately shutting down power plants and causing the loss of many jobs. Through this slower system, renewable energy would be incentivized and a new wave of renewable sources can be created. By reducing carbon dioxide through such measures, we can improve our own economic future as well as the safety of future generations.

While it failed in Washington, the carbon tax proposal would be a great way to improve the environment, promote the growth of renewable energy companies and assist those in rural communities who will be affected by climate change. Similar plans should be promoted across the United States as a viable solution to fix the problems that we will face in the near future.

Post Author: Nathan Hinkle