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  1. Disclaimer: I don’t trust Robert Reich or MoveOn to promote the best interest of anybody or anything other than Robert Reich and MoveOn.

    I would be willing to consider a carbon tax that wasn’t regressive…in any way…or involved any cap-and-trade schemes. If consumers could be protected from energy companies passing the cost down the line, if carbon taxes were specifically earmarked for green industry, alternative fuel or public transportation infrastructure, it might be worth considering.

    I would not support an Alaska-style dividend. That creates a dependency on resource extraction, creating a “perverse incentivize” for even greater resource exploitation resulting in increased carbon production. We have something similar here…a coal severance tax…that the State has become addicted to…government as well as taxpayers…because it funds so many programs. Meanwhile…the Rape of the Great Plains continues unabated…just like resource extraction in Alaska… and hundreds of millions of tons of coal are shipped around the country and overseas every year…poisoning the atmosphere.

    The Alaska-style dividend is becoming more and more of a hot topic among “progressives” and neoliberal apologists. It’s a payoff. An inducement to accept a status quo. Kind of like an Al Capone Christmas Turkey.

    Divestment is a good idea…if…there are actually opportunities for similar returns in other markets. Emerging green energy markets are high risk. Pension funds and institutions that rely on long-term consistency and reliability are going to have think long and hard about entering into high risk markets. Of course, they could always get into the health insurance market, (subsidized by taxpayers), or the MIC, (subsidized by taxpayers), or the American firearms market.

    What Reich and so many others forget to mention is that in order to reduce carbon emissions from existing fuel sources, alternatives must be made available to consumers of existing fuel sources. It’s the Jimmy Carter Paradox.

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