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Former Sec of State James Baker III and other GOP leaders in the new Climate Leadership Council want to create a Carbon Tax
Former George W. Bush Secretary of State James A. Baker III, head of the newly formed Climate Leadership Council which is attempting to rekindle the leftwing effort to create a carbon tax, spoke on February 8, 2017 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
The newly formed environmental coalition of veteran Republicans which include Baker, George Schultz, Henry Paulson (former Secretaries of State), and Marty Feldstein and Greg Mankiw (former Council of Economic Advisers chairmen under Republican Presidents) proposed gutting most of Barack Obama's climate change initiatives in exchange for levying a carbon tax, starting at $40 per ton on businesses which pollute the atmosphere,

The tax, in Baker's proposal, would be returned to the taxpayers in the form of a quarterly tax dividend check, paid by the Internal Revenue Service. Unlike all previous carbon tax proposals, where all monies collected went into the coffers of big government, the bait on the hook of this scheme proposes that the carbon tax receipts collected be returned directly to the taxpayers—something we all know will never happen. Taxes paid by the little guy always become the assets of the big guys—the 1%ers. In the "bait and switch" portion of Baker's discussion which implied taxpayers would be entitled to reimbursement of only that portion of the carbon tax which is directly attributable to something other than mankind, Baker noted in a post-conference interview with the Washington Post: "I really don't know the extent to which [global warming] is man-made...However," he added, "the risk is sufficiently strong that we need an insurance policy—and this is a... good insurance policy."

The reason for the pushback is that President Donald Trump's new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, isn't an environmentalist lackey. Nor is he stupid. Like most Americans with an IQ ten points or more past imbecile or dunce, Pruitt knows that the data harvested from NASA's Global Surveyor and Odyssey in 2007 recorded that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars' south pole had been melting for three consecutive summers. They also noted that summer temperatures on Venus had risen from an average of 470° to 513°.

I don't profess to know what the scientists at NASA think, but I don't think the melting ice caps on Mars and the temperature spikes on Venus are caused by too many sweating people, or too many flatulent cows, on Earth. And, regardless how good the Climate Leadership Council is at spinning fiction into fact, Baker and his sellout cohorts are going to have a tough time convincing reasonably intelligent people that humans on Earth triggered global warming on Mars and Venus.

The question is, despite the Climate Leadership Council's impeccable neo-conservative credentials, why would Jim Baker III suggest repealing and replacing Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan Executive Order, signed on Aug. 15, 2015? The EPA Executive Order did everything the left and their new allies on the right, wanted or needed to profit significantly. President Trump is preparing Executive Orders to curtail all of Obama's climate change, clean air and water, and anti-fossil fuel Executive Orders. Trump joined several conservative conservationist groups in criticizing not only Obama's environmental rules, but those imposed by President Bill Clinton through his "global warming" czar, Carol Browning, in the late 1990s.

Last week President Trump signed an Executive Order which nullified the Obama EPA's ban on coal mining operations from dumping waste from surface coal mines into the surrounding terrain, and particularly, into nearby waterways and also the wetlands and smaller, intermittent creeks and ponds that fed them. Another measure Trump issued lifted the moratorium on federal coal land leasing, which (unless challenged by environmentalists) will take effect immediately. The freeze has been in effect since December, 2015. It stifled coal exportation and production on over 570 million acres of public lands. Mere days before Obama left office he issued another executive order which allowed the government to charge higher royalty rates on coal companies wanting to lease the coal lands based on climate change cost factors. .All of this was happening as the Obamas invited the Trumps to the White House so Obama could plead with Trump not to undo his legacy by repealing the 276 Executive Orders he issued from Jan. 20. 2009 to Jan 20, 2017. (Obama issued 8 Executive Orders in the days immediately preceding his leaving office).

Added to that was Obama's EPA's secretarial order dubbed The Clean Air Plan which was an unconstitutional amendment to The Clean Air Act which the environmental-left has been unable to get on the floor of the House since the GOP took control of Congress in January, 2011.

When Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, the neo-conservatives in the Climate Leadership Council moved quickly to quash conservative opposition to the Council's carbon tax, attempting to bargain with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence.

Doug Andres, a spokesman for Speaker Ryan made it clear that "...[Baker] could rule out any plans for a carbon tax." echoing the words of the House Ways and Means Committee (the committee responsible for writing all tax law) and those of Grover Norquist, the head of the American Energy Alliance who sought a meeting with Gary Cohen, the White House chief economic adviser. Norquist made it clear that "...our organization has significant concerns regarding any prospective carbon tax proposal. Such a policy would place undue economic burdens on American families and business by intentionally increasing the cost of the energy they rely on every day." The pushback, which came quickly, shows precisely how much disdain exists on the right for a carbon tax.

The New York Post reported that Vice President Mike Pence's spokesman, Marc Lotter told them that the Veep ran into Jim Baker at the Super Bowl, with Baker mentioning that he was going to visit the White House and Pence asking him to "pop by his office" when he did. Lotter continued by telling the Post writer that Baker and Pence did not meet due to a scheduling conflict. How would that meeting have been received by Trump or the media? According to the comment Pence made to the Post, he had no idea. "It was a good proposal. It was simple. It was conservative. It was free market. It was limited government." And, it was dangerously social progressive—and, perhaps Earth-ending.

Oh, by the way in closing—about a decade or two ago, Sen. John McCain [R-AZ] who likes to think of himself by his cockpit name, "Maverick" was one of the first neo-cons to support a carbon tax (which would not be floated as a "tax" because all tax legislation must originate in the House of Representatives). The tax was floated as a "ride-along" cap and trade "incentive" to curb emissions.

Today, Republican politicians who promote global taxation of any type usually find their political careers short-lived. I wonder why John McCain is still in office? I wonder if its because the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has chosen to never run anyone against him who can win ? If that's true, then why? Something to think about between now and November, 2022.


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Copyright © 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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