Climate Change

Third time will not be the charm for a carbon tax in Washington state

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Posted by Brooke Starr on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, 4:30 PM PERMALINK

Last week, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced his candidacy for president. Inslee has joined several other Democrats candidates in embracing the radical Green New Deal. But Inslee has yet to see any of the climate policies that he has supported over the years cross the finish line in his own state.

Twice now, Washington voters have overwhelmingly rejected carbon taxes at the ballot box. First in 2016, with 59.25 percent of taxpayers voting no, and second in 2018 with 56.56 percent voting no.

Inslee is clearly out of touch when it comes to his constituents’ priorities. According to a Crosscut/Ellway poll from January 2019, the environment is not even in Washingtonians top six legislative issue areas – social services, economy, education, taxes, health care, and transportation all outrank environmental issues for voters in the Evergreen State.

Yet once again Inslee and some Washington lawmakers are refusing to listen to their constituents and are working to impose a carbon tax legislatively. Senate Bill 5971 would result in a roughly $17.1 billion tax hike, primarily by imposing the nation’s first carbon tax -- which would raise extract about $7.9 billion from residents over the next 10 years -- and increase the motor and special fuel excise tax by six cents per gallon.

Even bill sponsor Senator Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, said his bill, also known as the “Carbon Pollution Fee,” would result in the hardworking people of Washington being burdened with the most expensive fuel taxes in the nation. The proposed carbon “fee” would add an additional 15-cent per gallon tax on fuel, plus the proposed six cents-per-gallon fuel tax increase for a total tax hike of 21 cents per gallon.

Washington’s current gas tax is already third highest in the nation:

Gas Tax

(cents/gallon)

             

                          Source: https://taxfoundation.org/state-gas-tax-rates-july-2018/

In addition to being forced to fork over more of their hard-earned income at the pump, the hardworking people of Washington would also have to spend more on their monthly utility bills. No wonder carbon taxes have been rejected in numerous blue states such as Maine, and other countries including Canada and France.

Adding insult to injury, SB 5971 also has the potential to raise other taxes and fees, including those on property development and commercial, electric, and private vehicles, as well as taxes on rental cars, bicycles, and auto parts.

Carbon taxes in Washington have already failed twice at the ballot by large margins, so the fact that Inslee is not only pushing another carbon tax bill, but also running as the “climate change” presidential candidate is laughable. He is clearly out of touch with voters in his home state which will definitely not translate well to a nationwide vote.

Photo Credit: Thomas Sorenes

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Grover Norquist Educates “Science Guy” Bill Nye about the Real Costs of Paris Climate Deal


Posted by Elizabeth McKee on Thursday, June 1st, 2017, 5:05 PM PERMALINK

Grover Norquist appeared on MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle today to debate the Paris climate accord with Bill Nye, the self-proclaimed “Science Guy.”

Norquist explained the agreement benefits foreign countries at the expense of American workers:

The 190 countries you’re talking about, a great many of them are going to be receiving cash, American tax dollar cash, which they get because they voted for the plan and if they say the right things politically. So why would you be surprised that third-world dictatorships around the globe say, ‘let’s do it – because you’re paying us.’

[Europe] made a decision to increase their own costs of energy. They don’t want a more competitive United States. And China, which is building 350 new coal plants and has plans for another 800 because they’re not hamstrung by this agreement. China would love to see us shackle ourselves to the desk and not be able to compete. Europe would prefer that we not compete. Everyone’s interests are quite in line except for American workers’.

A study by NERA Economic Consulting found compliance with the Paris agreement would cost the United States 6.5 million jobs by 2040. The agreement would drive up energy prices, leading to a $5,000 loss in annual income for every household in America.

Nye, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, ridiculed the argument that national resources might be better spent securing American jobs than complying with the Paris agreement. He implored, “Climate change affects us tomorrow. Climate change affects everyone in the world because we all share the air.”

In fact, an MIT report found that even if all of the commitments of the Paris agreement are upheld, those pledges will only prevent 0.2°C of warming. The Paris agreement, it seems, is a costly plan that fails to make any significant impact on the climate.

Grover Norquist emphasized that while we may all share the air, we do not all share the costs of the Paris agreement. He remarked:

According to this treaty, Chinese and Indian coal doesn’t seem to affect anything because they’re not limited. We’re signing an agreement that handcuffs ourselves. This is not reasonable.

Watch the full clip here.

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House Looks to Stop $500 Million Taxpayer Funded Transfer Overseas

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Thursday, July 7th, 2016, 10:08 AM PERMALINK

The House Appropriations subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs approved a State Department spending bill this week that would prohibit the use of funds for the U.N. Green Climate Fund (GCF). Such prohibition would stop $500 million in taxpayer dollars from being sent overseas as part of President Obama’s unilateral commitment to fund the GCF. 

As part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris last year, the GCF fund was created with the goal of transferring funds from wealthy nations to developing nations to further the commits under the agreement. As part of the GCF, President Obama committed to helping raise $100 billion annually in funding, without the consent of Congress, and pledged $3 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars to the GCF.

The first installment of President Obama’s self-serving, ideological commitment came in March when $500 million was handed out to the GCF. Obama has since requested an additional $500 million as part of the second payment for 2017. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment that would allow for the $500 million requested transfer to the GCF. 

Thankfully, lawmakers on the House side realize the perverse nature of President Obama’s commitment to send millions, and eventually billions, in taxpayer’s hard earned dollars overseas at a time when such funds are desperately needed at home. For FY 2016 U.S. public debt totals $22 trillion, and while $3 billion is a relative drop in the bucket, there is no reason those funds should not be used domestically for the benefit of U.S. taxpayers.

 

Photo credit:  Pictures of Money

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Obama’s $3 Billion Dollar Taxpayer Backed Boondoggle

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Thursday, June 30th, 2016, 11:41 AM PERMALINK

In March President Obama dolled out the first installment of his ideologically driven $3 billion pledge to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund (GCF). The first $500 million handed out is just the start of what will amount to a massive transfer in the coming years of billions in taxpayer funds overseas. This Obama boondoggle has neither the consent of Congress nor the support of most American taxpayers. 

Obama’s billion-dollar pledge came at the end of 2015 as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris. The GCF was created as a fund within the UNFCCC framework, and the Obama Administration agreed to help raise $100 billion annually in funding for developing nations. Obama then unilaterally pledged $3 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds to the GCF without the consent of Congress.    

While President Obama is no stranger to circumventing the roll of the legislative branch in order to further his own legacy, his willingness to unilaterally commit billions in taxpayer dollars oversees is a new low. Considering that the FY 2016 U.S. public debt totals $22 trillion, a $500 million handout, and more importantly a $3 billion pledge of U.S. funds, ignores the economic realities the country is facing.

In a recent scathing oped, Senator James Lankford  (R-Okla.) argued that GCF funding could instead have been used to combat the spread of the Zika virus, pointing out that Congress has granted the authority to pull money from bilateral economic assistance to foreign countries to combat infectious diseases.

“Congress refused to allocate funding for the U.N. Climate Change Fund…so the president used this account designated for international infectious diseases to pay for his priority,” Lankford wrote. 

Senator Lankford is not the only lawmaker speaking out against Obama’s actions. A coalition of 37 Senators, led by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) sent a letter to President Obama last fall disavowing his diversion of funds without Senate approval.    

 

Photo credit:  Steve Jervetson

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The Grover Norquist Show: The Real Science and Politics Behind Global Warming

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Posted by Alec DiFruscia on Thursday, June 16th, 2016, 12:16 PM PERMALINK

In Episode 57 of the Grover Norquist Show, Heartland Institute CEO Joe Bast joins Grover to discuss the new book Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming. The book explains why the Left’s favorite statistic that “97% of scientists” agree that climate change is man-made is actually just a tactic to shut down debate. The book also discusses other statistics that are commonly used to “prove” global warming is man-made, and how liberal scientists manipulate these stats to further their agenda.

Listen to the full interview below:  

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The Environmental Lobby’s Ludicrous Polls

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Posted by Chris Prandoni on Friday, January 16th, 2015, 10:41 AM PERMALINK

Over the past week, the environmental lobby released two polls claiming widespread support for President Obama’s costly, job-killing and downright dangerous environmental agenda. The problem is: the polling data is flawed—a gross misrepresentation of voter opinions formed into a patchwork that supports environmentalists’ extremist narrative, yet fails on the facts.

New data from Yale University and a poll released today from the Center for American Progress made questionable claims that caught our eye; claims that stand in stark contrast to what we hear time and again from American consumers: regulations that drive up energy costs are bad policy.

Yale’s poll doesn’t include a single question that references the effects of the president’s regulations, like higher costs and weakened reliability. One can only imagine that polling results would have been quite different if participants had full disclosure about the impacts of the Obama climate plan.

In addition, the data used consists of information collected over a three-year period.  A great deal can change in terms of how people feel about issues during such a lengthy timeframe. In the case of EPA regulations, they have taken a turn for the worst under the Obama Administration during this period, and Yale’s modeling felt a bit like an apples-to-oranges exercise to merge polls together and distill support when it is very likely those numbers have fluctuated.

The poll conducted by CAP concluded that overall, voters prefer energy policy that invests in renewables, rather than multiple low-cost fuel sources. However, as we know, Americans are in favor of policies that will keep their energy costs from soaring—something sure to happen should we shift reliance on resources like wind and solar.

And did we also mention that one of the polling firm’s research associates, Matt Lee-Ashley, is a CAP senior fellow? Curious.

On the other hand, a variety of polls conducted by groups whose constituencies have real skin in the game had very different outcomes. A poll conducted by the 60 Plus Association in September found that a majority of senior voters are concerned about energy costs rising under EPA’s regulations. With many seniors plagued by hefty finances from medical bills and assisted-living, implications of rising utilities are especially worrisome.

Likewise, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and National Black Chamber of Commerce polled Hispanic and African-American voters before November’s midterm elections. Unsurprisingly, the data revealed that these groups, whose families often rely more on energy assistance programs, are most concerned about the potential economic impacts of EPA’s proposed guidelines.

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