Help Make Our Capitol Hill Briefing on Carbon Taxes a Big Success

CTC’s Special Request for Your Support

On January 20, 2009, less than ten weeks from today, the United States will have a new president and a new Congress. After eight years of obstruction by the Bush administration, and years of delay before that, the United States is finally poised to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On December 9, six weeks before Inauguration Day, the Carbon Tax Center is holding a briefing on Capitol Hill to articulate to the incoming Administration and Congress why a tax on carbon emissions must be the centerpiece of a new U.S. climate policy. Headlining the briefing is NASA climatologist James Hansen, a powerful advocate of a carbon tax. Dr. Hansen will be followed by two eminent economists, Prof. Gilbert Metcalf of Tufts and Dr. Robert Shapiro, currently at Sonecon and formerly U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs. James Hoggan, chair of the David Suzuki Foundation and a highly regarded Canadian pollster, will speak on public opinion regarding British Columbia’s carbon tax and the impact of the Liberal Party’s carbon tax proposal on last month’s Canadian national election.

The briefing is being hosted by Rep. John Larson of Connecticut, a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and author of a carbon tax bill introduced last year. Mr. Larson is Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, making him the fifth-ranking Democrat in the House, and has been mentioned as a possible successor to Rahm Emanuel, Chair of the Caucus and soon to be chief of staff to President Obama. The briefing will run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and will take place in a Ways & Means Committee hearing room, B-318, in the Rayburn House Office Building. The Climate Crisis Coalition has joined us as conference organizer, and Friends of the Earth and the Environmental & Energy Study Institute are serving as co-sponsors.

We are particularly pleased that James Hansen has agreed to be our keynote speaker. For over 20 years, Dr. Hansen has distilled mounting evidence that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide will soon lead to disastrous climate change into urgent calls for action by the United States and other major emitters. Dr. Hansen courageously rebuffed efforts by the Bush administration to muzzle him and has continued to combine world-class research and public education on the imminence of potentially devastating climate change with exhortation for action. At the top of Dr. Hansen’s agenda, and a focal point of his presentation at our briefing, is the need for carbon pricing delivered through steep but equitable revenue-neutral carbon taxes.

Following Dr. Hansen’s keynote address, economists Metcalf and Shapiro will detail the mechanics of carbon taxing, and Mr. Hoggan will share his research findings on public opinion concerning Canada’s experience with carbon taxes.

We invite you to join us at the December 9 briefing. To ensure its success, including vital follow-on work, we ask for your generous financial help.  Political dynamics in Washington have changed dramatically and CTC intends to be fully engaged to ensure that carbon taxing gets a full hearing. Your support will enable us to take full advantage of this long-awaited opportunity to effectively advocate for a U.S. carbon tax.  Please click our Donate Now button or click here for instructions on making a contribution.



  1.'chris says

    I am completly against a crabon tax aimed at reducing non-existant global warming. Our polar ice caps had record growth last month!

  2.'Q says

    Why not use the tax revenues to pay for carbon sequestration?  Making it revenue neutral is continuing the fantasy that we can have our cake and eat it too!  Reducing emissions does not prevent global warming, it only slows down the rate at which warming happens in the future, at best.  To actually reverse global warming we have to reduce atmospheric concentration of carbon, and to do that we have to start actively removing carbon from the atmosphere, which will cost real money.  What better way to raise those funds than a carbon tax?

  3.'David Collins says

    I wish I could join the CTC in Washington on December 9, but what with the stock market collapse and related matters, that is out of the question.
    Ref. #3: Properly implemented revenue neutrality (I far prefer paying Carbon Tax funds collected to be returned to citizens on a count-the-noses basis) is needed to eliminate the inherent regressiveness of the tax. The poor (like me these days) spend proportionately far more of our income on energy. I fully agree with you on the need for removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. However, I would prioritize reduction of greenhouse gases in the near future. And although I suspect massive R&D will be required to develop atmospheric carbon sequestration & storage (anybody have a snazzy name for it?), at least the Carbon Tax would provide at least one revenue stream for whoever could show she is doing it!

  4.'Q says

    Thanks for your comments.  Any carbon tax would have to be progressive so some kind of refund or abatement to the poor is clearly required.  However, that does not mean the tax has to be revenue neutral, and whatever revenues are collected from it can be applied to funding the R&D required in the short term, and foot the bill in the long term to pay for carbon removal.

  5.'Zerfinla says

    When people say they read all the data, what do they mean ALL the data? I keep hearing about All this data out there proving that humans are to blame, but then I find this web page. I don’t want to bash making this world a pretty place, plant more trees sounds good,but taxing us on something that we are just guessing on… thats not good enough. We’re not helping the Earth, we’re just giving in to a Fad that the government is exploiting. A private company that passes a few bucks to some law makers so that they can stay in business. Don’t fall into this trap, look for more data and stop going on just sound bites and news flashes, there’s always more to a story then what they say. ALWAYS. An while you’re looking things up, look for a good place to plant some seeds. Like I just did. :) 

  6.'Holly Berkowitz says

    Finally, our nation can take critical steps now to undo some of the outrageous damage caused by the Bush-Cheney White House….and we need those steps as soon as possible.A carbon tax should be much more effective and fair than a "cap and trade" system that simply moves the pollutants around.  The carbon tax will inspire innovation and  funnel resources where they need to go….into cost-efficient and energy-efficient and clean sources of energy, especially wind and solar and other innovations…. jump-starting our economy and putting cash and political power into our nation’s democracy instead of into the hands of oil-rich dictators.Dr. Jerald Schnoor has developed some fabulous findings on the effectiveness of green carbon sequestration, green spaces filling so many wastelands in our nation….including gardens to nurture our inner cities.More later   :) Thanks for your efforts.  

  7.'Linda says

    I was relieved to see that Chris – # 2 – was against a crabon tax. This way, the CARBON tax won’t be affected. It is still hard to believe that there are any questions as to the root of this environmental crisis. We have a long way to go and there are many hurdles to jump and our educational systems need desperately to be on board. Cheers to you movers and shakers! Keep doing what you’re doing – every tiny piece of this puzzle is essential and the inspiration we provide will have exponential impact!


  1. […] Significantly, these discussions aren’t all taking place behind closed doors, but in full public view, for example at a public Hill briefing December 9 with carbon tax supporters like NASA scientist James Hansen, economists Gilbert Metcalf and Robert Shapiro, Canadian public affairs expert James Hoggan, and Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn., 1st district), who has just been elected chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and who introduced an early piece of carbon tax legislation into the House. The public can attend, along with Congressional members and staff — details here. […]

Last modified: November 13, 2008