Because carbon is produced by virtually all human activities, the ability to punish carbon production is the ability to impact, if not control, all economic activity. A tax on carbon "pollution" would provide an inexhaustible source of revenue for the government. Thus the far left, the radical greens and the watermelons - to the extent that those three classifications have any distinguishing features from one another - have been seeking a carbon tax in the U.S. for decades.
The sole and ostensible justification given for a carbon tax is the dire threat of global warming - a threat that has little if any basis in reality. This from Paul Driessen at WUWT:
Average planetary temperatures haven’t budged in 16 years. Hurricanes and strong tornadoes are at or near their lowest ebb in decades. Global sea ice is back to normal, Arctic ice is nearly normal, and the Antarctic icepack continues to grow. The rate of sea level rise remains what it was in 1900.
And yet, President Obama and many politicians, newscasters and alarmist scientists continue to insist that carbon dioxide emissions are changing Earth’s climate, and we need to take immediate action to prevent storms like Hurricane Sandy and avert catastrophes predicted by IPCC computer models and alleged “scientific consensus.”
Senators Barbara Boxer and Bernie Sanders have struck first, introducing a so called "fee and dividend" carbon tax. This from SF Gate:
The Sanders-Boxer bill would impose a $20 per ton tax on carbon or methane equivalent, rising 5.6 percent each year for 10 years, on the nation's largest fossil fuel producers. Imported fossil fuels from countries that do not impose a similar tax would also pay.
The tax would raise an estimated $1.2 trillion over a decade and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 2005 levels. Three-fifths of the tax would be rebated to "every legal U.S. resident," which might make it more politically feasible than if it went to the government.
The rest of the money would go to incentives for clean energy and research.
The give back to the legal resident - note, not U.S. citizens - is a nice touch. The problem of course is that, while these people would get back three fifths of the tax, they would be paying for all of it. Moreover, the havoc such a tax would work on the economy and jobs would be substantial and regressive.
Moreover, this would leave $480 billion to permanently fund the world's biggest slush fund for far left and green causes. The record of Obama green energy "investments" to date has been, to put it kindly, a failure. It is rife with cronyism, waste, and fraud. And yet, Obama and the left want to "double down." I use the term figuratively because Obama spent, if I recall correctly, $100 billion over his first four years on "green energy investments." This would more than doubling down.
So there you have it. If the left succeeds in imposing a carbon tax, they will get their mitts on the biggest potential cash cow in our nation. The rest of us will get the cow patties.