Roper: TCI carbon tax is lots of bucks, little bang

By Rob Roper

Advocates for the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) will argue that the pain they intend to inflict on Vermonters via a 17 cents per gallon carbon tax on gasoline and diesel is necessary to combat climate change. Their theory is by making gas and diesel too expensive for people to afford, people will be forced to find alternatives or give up driving, and this will, in turn, lower Vermont’s carbon footprint and stave off climate change.

But by how much?

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

According TCI’s own data, if the New England/Mid-Atlantic states considering this pact did not join TCI and pay the carbon tax, carbon emissions would still drop by a projected 19 percent. If the states did sign on to TCI and pay the carbon tax, those emissions would drop to somewhere between 20 and 25 percent. That’s only a 1-to-6 percent difference over the course of a decade (2022-2032).

And what would that very minor deviation cost?

The 1 percent impact option (7 cents per gallon), again according to TCI, will cost people in the region $1.4 billion annually, or $14 billion over that 10 years. The 6 percent impact option (17 cents per gallon) will cost drivers $56 billion.

The biggest question, of course, is what impact on future climate trends would moving the needle from a 19 percent CO2 reduction to 26 percent in these dozen states at the staggering cost of a $56 billion carbon tax have? So little as to be imperceptible.

TCI isn’t so much an actual public policy with meaningful goals achieved at reasonable costs — a well thought out and careful use of the public’s dollars for the public’s benefit — as it is a form of mass torture inflicted on the heretical population by the high priests of climate change. No thanks.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain

25 thoughts on “Roper: TCI carbon tax is lots of bucks, little bang

  1. Carbon Tax Impact On A Typical Vermont Family, as reported on VTDigger:

    Any tax, including a carbon tax, passing through the hands of government suffers from “the sticky fingers syndrome”, 2 dollars go in about 1.5 dollars come out. The difference stays to feed the growing government bureaucracy.

    The key word missing in most discussions is UNILATERAL. VT’s government imposing on Vermonters a unilateral carbon tax is like shooting them in the feet.

    If the carbon tax were nationwide, I would support it.

    The carbon tax would:

    – Impose a $10/ton tax of carbon emitted in 2017, increasing to $100/ton in 2027.
    – Generate about $100 million in state revenue in 2019, about $520 million in 2027.
    – Be added to the fuel prices at gas stations and fuel oil/propane dealers.
    – Drivers should expect a tax increase of 9 c/gal of gasoline in 2018, increasing to about 89 cents in 2027.
    – Homeowners, schools, hospitals, businesses, etc., should expect a tax increase of 58 c/gal of propane and $1.02/gal of heating oil and diesel fuel in 2027.
    – A typical household (two wage earners, two cars, in a free-standing house) would pay additional taxes in 2027 of about:
    – Some of the carbon tax extortion would be at the pump, some when the monthly fuel bills arrive, and some as higher prices of OTHER goods and services.

    Driving = $0.89/gal x 2 x 12000 miles/y x 1/(30 miles/gal) = $712/y
    Heating = $1.02/gal x 800 gal/y = $816/y
    Total carbon tax in 2027 = $1528/y
    Sales tax reduction 5/6 x 1400 = $233/y
    Net tax increase = $1295/y

    – The hypocritical sop of reducing the sales tax from 6 to 5 percent would save that household about $233 in sales taxes, for a net loss of $1295 in 2027. That means such households, the backbone of the Vermont economy, would have about $1300/y less to make ends meet.
    – Many of these households have had stagnant or declining, spendable real incomes (after taxes, fees, surcharges; other recurring expenses, etc.), plus dealing with a near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy, since 2000.
    – With less real income, and higher real prices for goods and services, they also would have to make their own energy efficiency improvements.

  2. Vermont’s Economic Development Policy: Left-leaning Democrat politicians have adopted an unwritten “economic development policy”: Maximize the schlepping of federal funds into Vermont to start/subsidize government programs, and start/subsidize government/business partnerships, which, as a side benefit, create a spectrum of subsidy-dependent constituencies, that produce reliable votes year after year.

    These programs and partnerships usually pay too little in state and local taxes to more than offset their subsidies, i.e., they do not provide a significant net gain.

    Annual government budget deficits are offset by means of annual increases of taxes, fees and surcharges imposed on the near-zero, real growth private sector, The “policy” has failed to create a vibrant, growing private sector, with prosperous households and businesses, since 2000.

    If the carbon tax bill were enacted, special interests, seeing this large source of funds, would pile on it, and grab as much of it as possible, as happened with the ARRA funds a few years ago. The Vermont approach would be complicated and lead to more bureaucracy and rules and regulations. It would definitely not be hands-off.

    For Vermont to impose a unilateral carbon tax would make its economy less competitive versus other states, i.e., more brain drain, and fewer good-paying, steady, full-time jobs, with good benefits in the private sector. The carbon tax would be another headwind for the near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy.

    The carbon tax would further aggrandize Vermont’s government, which is too large, too inefficient, spending too much money, is bloated with programs, and is running annual deficits, that are offset with annual increases of taxes, fees and surcharges, as if money grows on trees.

    The carbon tax would transfer up to $520 million per year, less sales tax reductions, into incompetent, inefficient government hands for “disbursements”; EB-5, Health care website, Montpelier Heating Plant, etc. come to mind.

  3. The Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, goal aims to “transform” the Vermont economy.

    It would require investments of about $33.3 billion, about $1 billion per year for 33 years, during the 2017 – 2050 period, per Vermont Energy Action Network 2015 Annual Report.

    The CEP could not be implemented without a very high carbon tax and other taxes, surcharges and fees of at least $970 million per year for 33 years.

  4. Vermont doesn’t stack up to a pimple on an a ticks butt when it comes to global warming. Any imitative needs to be done at the federal level.

    Lets have these progressive gloom and doom legislators head (on their own dime) to China and India and put a stop to the hundreds of new coal generation plants being planned. This is where there could be a positive result. Of course they might be jailed for 50 years for crimes against the motherland, but as they say, it is all worth it to save the world.

    Maybe they can catch a ride on one of Al Gore’s jets as he seems be exempt from his own railings about global warming. He is one of those; “don’t do as I do, do as I say” kind of guys. Also better known as rabid hypocrites or even more colloquial as a certified nut case.

    As Margaret Thatcher once said: ‘The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money’? When people can no longer pay these punitive taxes what will be the next step. Can’t even rationalize it.

    They want to spend your hard earned dollars on a gas tax with the hope it will force you to ride your bicycle every day to work and give up your car. Of course they will always be able to pay the increased cost of fuel; trust babies and the like.

    • Beagle,

      Vermont total energy consumption is just a fly on an elephant’s ass.

      Fantasizing Democrats, with NEAR ZERO EXPERIENCE in energy systems of any kind, would like to turn the NEAR- ZERO, REAL-GROWTH Vermont Economy upside down to reduce the fly to a flea, AT GREAT COST.

      That is nothing but lubricous.

  5. Still not sure how the proceeds with be spent. Based upon past experience, it could disappear or end up funding some meaningless feel good project. Which brings up the question, will the tax stop global warming? I may be a skeptic, but I don’t think so.

  6. We need a law that requires every bureaucratic and legislator to take public transportation to and from Mountstupid and state offices every day, all days. — then they can tell us how it works.

  7. The TCI ” Take Citizens Income ” Tax, this boondoggle and that’s all it is and the State
    our Governor cannot figure out why people are leaving or not coming to our state.

    Why are we not holding these legislators feet to the fire ??, the state is in debt, unfunded
    liabilities, job concerns, and a drug problem ??.

    Just hammer the working Vermonter “again “……….Liberal Legislators all that matters is
    their agenda, be it feasible or not

    Wake up, people.

  8. Spending billions to produce a non effect, I guess we know what party
    is pushing that agenda…. their slipping on TCI though as the “new breed”
    are pushing Trillion dollar agenda’s…

    • This sheep is not going to follow blindly anymore. It is time to head south to a more “sane” state. We are already being taxed to death here and they think it’s a good idea to add another 17 cents gas tax that will punish us for driving to work everyday to pay all of their outrageous taxes? No thanks!

  9. Right on – and remember, TCI will lower the cap each year to drive up the price of the “allowances” to use motor fuel. How much? Nobody knows.

  10. Well, here’s my response to more regulation and taxation as a solution to the “climate crisis” — I will not comply! In fact, I’m going to help my husband get our 1984 Lincoln Continental on the road this Spring and drive that gas guzzling beauty until the snow flies! I thumb my nose at the ignorant, progressive, social justice warriors in Montpelier!

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