As I rolled away from bed after just a few hours of sleep yesterday morning, I rolled onto a author group chat message that stated, “In accordance with Elon, Biden stated no to a carbon tax.” My first thought was, “please inform me this isn’t what I feel it’s.”
I don’t know the complete context of the dialog between Elon Musk and President Joe Biden’s administration, however on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Elon stated, “I talked to the Biden administration, and so they have been like ‘Properly, this appears too politically troublesome.’ And I used to be like, ‘Properly, that is clearly a factor that ought to occur.’ And by the way in which, SpaceX can be paying a carbon tax too. So I’m like, , I’m like, I feel we must always pay it too. It’s not like we shouldn’t have carbon producing issues. It’s simply that there’s bought to be a value on these things.”
Once more, I don’t know the way the subject got here up or in what context (perhaps the administration was simply asking Elon for his perspective on one of the best factor to do for the local weather and Elon offered his opinion in a complete political vacuum), however the viability of a US carbon tax within the subsequent 2 years is someplace under 0%. (I do know, that’s not doable. It’s only a rhetorical gadget to make my level as clear as doable.) It’s extra seemingly — a lot extra seemingly — that Jeff Bezos will die poor than that you just’d get Joe Manchin (to not point out a number of different senators) to vote for a carbon tax.
Actually, I hope to the graciousness of Martian kings that Elon didn’t suppose he may really persuade the Biden administration to go for this. As a result of it has nothing to do with the Biden administration. The Biden administration may attempt to make Dogecoin the forex of the USA and China, however it’s simply not going to occur. And I’d say that pushing the Biden administration to do this can be equally as ineffective as pushing the Biden administration to attempt to get a carbon tax by way of Congress, however the former would really be extra helpful — it might at the least be entertaining, a superb dinner desk story, and never painfully grating.
To begin with, if Elon does actually need this (I’m fairly certain he does), he must cease utilizing the phrase carbon tax and as a substitute use terminology that truly has an opportunity of getting onto a reliable invoice. (Elon, you possibly can discuss to Climate XChange — or me — for a fast rundown on helpful terminology in addition to viable carbon pricing choices.)
Secondly, a little bit tad little bit of assist getting some utterly ineffective fossil-loving Republican senators out of workplace can be essential — and that is an space the place Elon’s affect may go a good distance. Frankly, you could possibly name it the “Free Ice Cream For Republicans Invoice” and it wouldn’t get a Republican vote in at the moment’s Senate if it put a value on carbon.
Sure, carbon pricing was a Republican coverage proposal as soon as upon a time. Some outstanding Republicans even pushed arduous for it up to now decade. (Relaxation in peace, George Pratt Shultz — I’ll pour one out for you tonight.*) Nonetheless, in case ye haven’t been paying consideration, this isn’t the get together of Lincoln! This isn’t even the get together of Reagan. Heck, darn, gosh golly, this isn’t even the get together of George W. Bush (who additionally wouldn’t contact carbon pricing with a 420-foot pole). That is the get together of … okay, nicely, let’s not even get into that. The purpose is that you just completely can’t get carbon pricing by way of Congress with no bigger variety of Democrats within the Senate, sufficient to outvote fossil-country Democrats like Joe Manchin.
Is carbon pricing logical? Is it essentially the most free-market choice to take care of the existential societal danger of local weather disaster? Sure and sure, however that doesn’t matter in any respect to a celebration that will get a number of funding from fossil gasoline corporations, will fortunately let any and all corporations pollute as a lot as they need, and can really defend the one who nearly had them murdered from any political repercussions.
I’ll simply finish with this: There are tons of excellent cleantech insurance policies Elon Musk may push for when speaking to the Biden administration. If he’s not doing that and as a substitute pushing for a carbon tax, he wants some coverage/political advisors available, and will take heed to them. Do it for the doges at the least.
*A cup of espresso, that’s.
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