• Hello John
    Again I disagree because the “carbon tax” is going to be an incentive for companies to get off fossil fuels because it is dirty energy….Most of the newer and larger petrochemical companies will try to avoid paying the “carbon tax” by trying alternative fuels or using emission scrubbers…...The government understands it is not affordable for the smaller carbon emitter so they will pay the tax…The goal is getting off greenhouse emissions so this tax will eventually go away.
    While the “carbon tax” has not been debated or put into law it does have its flaws and maybe a better method will be used….Tax credits will be made available for green startup companies, so it is only proper to tax the polluters. Revenue neutral.
    I am not a climatologist nor am I a psychologist, so I have tried to keep the subject on greenhouse emissions and I am glad Texas will finally get a chance to say yea or nay..
    I don’t think this a liberal or conservative issue but more of an issue everyone can compromise on (except for the” drill baby dill” crowd).
    Your second post is more in line with the message I was writing about.
    Some say because I drive a Prius ,I don't pay my fair share of highway taxes...They might have a point...See what I mean a compromise needs to be put in place,not the same old liberal v conservative idealogical battles.

    January 15, 2009 at 10:56 a.m.

  • Even Friedman said, (not a direct quote)  "Any tax, gasoline or carbon, must be revenue-neutral. It should be combined with a reduction equal in payroll taxes, so that the hurt to people is zero."
    I would challenge him on that statement. What, then, about the people that already don't pay taxes, the working people in the lower income bracket? Those are the people that will be hurt the most and there is no way to compensate them via payroll taxes short of giving them someone else’s' money.

    January 14, 2009 at 8:07 p.m.

  • Excellent points Rollinstone,you did your homework.
    I thought I read that dynamic smart grid that will enable clean technologies like renewable energy, demand response and plug-in vehicles funding will be available for the states in the trillion dollar stimulus package. I hope Texas gets it….Imagine ironing, clothes drying at 3:00am to save money and having a two way grid that will accept and dispense electricity..Impossible? California has been doing this for years but they forgot to manage the purse strings, so it will cost that state to be in the red this year.
    Our electric grid is outdated and needs a complete overhaul and eventually be powered by wind turbines.

    January 14, 2009 at 6:04 p.m.

  • Most economists favor a carbon tax over cap and trade because it is more direct and easier to administer. There are far fewer suppliers of carbon than consumers. A carbon tax would flow through the economy and be applied fairly to all sectors.
    Cap and trade has been pretty much a failure in Europe. The United States has actually had less growth in per capita CO2 emissions than the Europeans. We are going to get something so it might as well be a carbon tax which would raise the cost of oil, gasoline, and all fossil fuels. It would promote renewable and nuclear energy.
    We are going to need more electrical generation if we convert to plug in hybrid cars. And the more we convert the less demand there will be for gasoline. At the same time it will allow a higher percentage of bio-fuels to be used. The decreasing demand for oil will steadily make it cheaper that's why a carbon tax is needed.
    In 10 to 20 years a significant change could be made. In addition we need to promote more railroad building and use, a carbon tax would do that. Railroads are about three times more efficient than trucks at carrying freight. Trucks also cause about 80% of the highway maintenance.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:39 p.m.

  • I actually heard Al Gore and Tom Friedman say "tax everything bad, and don’t tax the good things like savings, investments, and dividends. But that isn't likely.
    Some sort of cap and trade will pass, but the oil company’s lobbyist will fight tooth and nail to keep their tax incentives, but I am not sure how a carbon tax will stabilize gasoline price. Perhaps you can explain?
    Yes the SEC fell asleep at the switch but I think oversight can be implemented. Senator Levin of Michigan threatened the Treasury Department with a subpoena for answers on how the TARP money was spent. The Treasury Department will deliver the requested documents this week.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:11 p.m.

  • They need to put a tax on carbon and reduce all other taxes accordingly especially the taxes on businesses.  Particularly businesses, that is if you like having a job.  And for God's sake stop spending money, every politician believes it is their sworn duty to find something to spend our money on.
    A carbon tax can be used to stabilize gasoline prices.  This must be done in order to make a stable environment for investments.  In the meantime eliminate all subsidies, we need to get the government out of the market place as much as possible.   I have to laugh though when I hear that the trillion dollar stimulus will have Congressional over sight to insure the money isn't wasted - really?
    The regulation of our economy is a tricky business, there is always the tendency to over regulate. In addition we have a hard time enforcing the laws we have. I read where the typical corporation has about six level of management, the SEC has thirty, yeah, thirty. They could not even catch Bernie Madoff even though people complained several times that it was a Ponzi scheme. I'm afraid he will go to jail but his sons and other family members will walk away with millions - where's the justice? They need to set an example somewhere along the line - throw him to the mob.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:53 p.m.

  • John, while I'll agree the American Big Three automakers did not have a good vision but like the housing market they were doomed to fail when the credit crunch hit…. Toyota sales have dropped 32%, so the auto industry as a whole is suffering.
    Shai Agassi,(former president of the software company SAP) is producing an electric car which he will sell to Israel ,Denmark, and Northern California because they are building infrastructure(charge spots) to make this project viable.... Putting the horse before the cart...This country does not produce batteries ,so some of the profits will go to the battery producing countries....See what I mean..Not exactly cut and dry.
    I have asked time and time again, do we really need 40 different models of automobiles? Do we need three automakers? The bridge loan payment will come due in March; that will give us more answers.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:52 p.m.

  • John, IMO you're confusing mandates with state rights, codes and regulations.
    A free market is a market that is free of government intervention and regulation, besides the minimal function of maintaining the legal system.
    Now a federal mandate is an order from the central government that all state and local government must comply with.
    You said to make this a law across the board any of the automobile companies operate in the United States and force them to invest in alternatives…. That is a mandate.
    While I agree if the business is not want the federal government in their business then they should not go before Congress asking for help.
    But free-market principles is not the subject of this blog, I was thrilled to read article about Dynegy decision in Sunday's Houston Chronicle.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:30 p.m.

  • John, you're confusing me. You say you were a free-market conservative but yet you advocate mandates.
    It has been proved more than once that America loves its pickups and SUV's so making our auto companies produce only hybrids; America will start buying Japanese pickups. Americans, have already curtailed their gasoline usage but unless gasoline prices go up and remain high; they will continue to buy lower MPG vehicles.
    You said “I hope I am wrong about your Obama" as of right now he is the President elect, not the president…..
    If you insist on mandates start with  the local,state, and federal fleet...Voters do not mind if mandates are placed on those entities.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:29 p.m.

  • True or you could compare it to the movie “Speed” in which a bomber plants a bomb on a city bus which must keep moving above 50 miles per hour or the bomb will explode.
    I prefer to make it about clean energy in order to create an innovation friendly environment. 
    See posters thought I was crazy for wanting either higher stable gasoline prices or higher a gasoline tax..The innovators want commitment by the government….The Obama transition team is giving that some thought…..I saw a GMC executive painfully trying to sell the electric car on “Good Morning, Joe” the other day; his heart was not in it.…Low gasoline prices, the car won’t sell........ low gasoline prices and refineries can’t make money................, consumers like low gasoline prices.
    That's part of the problem Rollinstone.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:35 p.m.

  • You are right superdave1
    I got curious as to why and I found this website.
    Which vehicles are required to have the emissions test?

    Vehicles registered in designated counties. Designated counties include: Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Travis, Williamson and El Paso counties.
    Gasoline powered vehicles. Diesel powered vehicles and motorcycles are exempt from emissions testing, but are still required to have the annual safety inspection.
    Vehicles 2 through 24 years old OR upon expiration of the 2 year initial inspection sticker

    January 14, 2009 at 1:53 p.m.

  • This is 2009 year of “how does it pertain to me.
    I had this excerpt from Tom Friedman’s new book “Hot, flat, and crowded”
    He talks of Van Jones a black social activist in Oakland, Calif., and as green an environmentalist as they come having to go in the inner city knocking on doors saying “we have a problem, the polar bears are dying because of global warming.” I suspect that would not sell. Instead Mr. Jones offered green –jobs that focused on underprivileged youths. He showed how weatherizing your home could save them money and in turn curbed the use of dirty fuels. That is why I mentioned that Dynegy wanted to get in on the ground floor of the move to clean energy.
    In the presidential campaign Governor Schweitzer of Montana talked of hunters asking him to do something about the dirty fuels standards since the hunting season was coming later in the year making for a shorter season due to climate change. Perhaps a little investigating by state authorities would find the culprit.
    I am not talking about 20 foot tidal waves ;just common sense approaches that wont leave us like Georgia in pursuit of the almighty dollar…In case you forgot ,Georgia kept building and building until they out built their water source..Remember their drought and water shortage after the Hurricane Ike?

    January 14, 2009 at 1:44 p.m.

  • I still cannot believe that Victoria does not require emmission testing when inspecting your car. I drive around all day getting smoked out by tailpipes here.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:41 p.m.