Target: Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party Nominee for President of the United States
Goal: Bring back the carbon tax that Clinton’s campaign was considering, no matter how politically slippery it may be.
If one thing of import has come out of the whole Hilary Clinton email exposé, it’s the revelation that the Clinton campaign was considering a carbon tax way back in 2015—and decided against it. From an environmental standpoint, and indeed, even an economic one, a carbon tax would make a lot of sense and benefit us all (except corporations and the super wealthy). However, it proved to be too great of a political hassle for Clinton’s campaign to take on.
A memo from March 2015, which was recently exposed by the WikiLeaks hack of John Podesta’s emails, shows Clinton advisors weighing the pros and cons of a $42 per ton tax on greenhouse gas emissions. Intuitively, such a tax would raise gas prices and energy costs across the board. However, the plan was to compensate for this by providing annual rebates, excluding households above a certain level of wealth. With a system like this, the people who contribute the most to climate change, polluting the most and consuming the most resources, are the people who pay for it. It makes economic sense, and would certainly benefit the environment. The campaign’s concern was that it wouldn’t be able to convince people just how much of a win-win this policy could be.
Of course a carbon tax would be unpopular with the powerful fossil fuel lobby, as well as wealthy conservatives. It seems Clinton, ever the politician, was afraid she wouldn’t be able to combat republicans’ claims that this tax would hurt businesses and pose an undue burden on families. These arguments are easily refuted if people understand the rebate system, but the political battle simply wasn’t worth it for the Clinton campaign.
If the public demonstrates informed support for a carbon tax, perhaps we can convince Hillary to rethink turning her back on this policy. If Mrs. Clinton becomes our president in November, she’s going to be navigating us through the most serious and pressing years of climate catastrophe we’ve seen so far. This writer, for one, would like to see her make some bold moves on environmental policy. Add your voice to say that we’re “Ready for Hillary…to take a strong stand in the face of climate change, beginning with measures like the carbon tax” by signing the petition below.
Dear Mrs. Clinton,
I am writing to urge you to reconsider your abandonment of the carbon tax plan your campaign was considering in 2015. As I understand it, you and your advisors weighed the merits of a $42 per ton greenhouse gas pollution tax, and ultimately decided the political struggle outweighed the potential environmental and economic benefits of the policy. This comes as a great disappointment to me.
I’m sure you’re quite sick and tired of hearing about the revelations dug up from your and your campaign manager’s email exposés, but this one simply cannot be ignored. In the town hall debate on October 9th, Donald Trump called you a fighter. I, too, believed you were a candidate who would stand up and fight for the things you believed were important, and for the American people. But if you’ll shy away from a bold environmental policy simply because it’s a tough sell, I have to question your audacity.
I believe we’re ready to take bold steps in the face of climate change, and I hope you are as well. Please consider reviving your proposal of the carbon tax.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Roger H. Goun