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Wednesday, December 12, 2018
HomeTop NewsWalker climate change draft report calls for carbon taxes

Walker climate change draft report calls for carbon taxes

ALASKA COULD BE FIRST STATE WITH CARBON TAX

The first several dozen pages of the Climate Action Leadership Team draft report, dated Friday, July 27, is a difficult read. It’s a string of vague, long-winded suggestions for actions the State of Alaska should take in response to a changing climate, without really saying much in precise, deliverable terms.

An example is Action #2.3C, and 2.3D:

“Develop and implement mechanisms that bridge Western science and Indigenous Knowledge in the co-production of knowledge, enhance ecosystem awareness, minimize negative impacts, and strengthen resource management.”

“Assess State response options for threatened ecosystems, including reviewing harvest planning or identifying innovative solutions.”

It’s enough to make your eyes bleed.

It’s not until the last few pages that the report finally gets down to specifics that will require vast resources, taxes, and input from Alaskans. There’s extensive talk about environmental curriculum in the schools, which is a testy subject, since not everyone agrees on the science. But there are other suggestions, too, that will be the subject of robust debate:

“Build a commuter rail system in Southcentral to service the Mat-Su, Anchorage, and Girdwood.”

“Those Alaskans who work along the railroad tracks at JBER, downtown Anchorage, Anchorage International Airport and the Dimond Center already provide more than enough people to give a pilot program a start,” the report posits.

“Require medium and large emitters to report greenhouse gas emissions to the State and to municipalities, and establish the baseline for and increase monitoring of emissions.”

“The State should create and support an active statewide Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Leadership Council, comprising professionals from school districts, natural resource agencies and industries, tribal organizations and Native corporations, educational nonprofit organizations, and outdoor recreation organizations.”

“The State should create and support school or school district liaisons to facilitate the integration of the plan at the local level; support a paid coordinator who has the resources and flexibility necessary to provide assistance in plan implementation to the diverse stakeholders involved; and initiate a mechanism for periodic review and updating of the 2013 the “Alaska Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Plan “ to ensure on-going progress.”

“Establish a Green Bank to develop long-term state-led financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

“Develop pathways for carbon revenue generation and a carbon pricing mechanism.”

There it is: The carbon tax, the motherlode of taxes.

“The State should implement a revenue positive carbon tax for Alaska, not a revenue neutral tax like British Columbia’s that provides dividends to compensate citizens for the increased price of carbon- based fuels. The revenues from a carbon tax could be used to fund a state green bank to loan money for energy efficiency and renewable energy (see section 4.2B above) as well as many of the programs recommended here.

“DOR could levy and collect the tax. Constitutionally, those revenues would likely have to then go to the state’s general fund, from which the Alaska State Legislature could appropriate dollars for the Green Bank and other programs.”

Translation: raise taxes on Alaska’s oil and gas industry in order to fund a grab-bag of poorly defined green initiatives.

[Read the entire draft report here.]

No state has yet implemented a carbon tax. A measure to implement one in Washington was defeated by voters in 2016.

The public comment period for the Draft Alaska Climate Change Policy is now closed.

MEETINGS SET FOR THIS WEEK

The Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team meets on Thursday from 8 am to 4:30 pm in Room 307 of the Consortium Library on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.

On the agenda is the report, which was closely held until about two weeks ago, when it was posted in the public notice section of the State of Alaska’s web site. The meeting is open for public observation. The teleconference number for public listening is 800-698-1231. (There is no access code.)

On Friday, the team also posted its recommended State policy, which can be viewed here.

YOUNG LEADERS’ DIALOGUE

In addition to The Aug. 2 meeting, the Climate Action Leadership Team is hosting a Young Leaders’ Dialogue on Climate Change from 8 am to 4:30 pm on Wednesday, Aug. 1

Participants will hear from the CALT and invited speakers, engage in small group discussions, and work toward a statement of action that builds from the draft state climate strategy.

Youth participation is by invitation only; however, members of the public are allowed to observe. The meeting will take place in Room 307 of the Consortium Library on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Looks like the death knell for Governor Walker’s gasline. Here’s a start for the so-called Green Bank–put the $110 million for the AGDC gasline into that bank. Looks like it will be only peat and poop for Alaskan’s energy needs! Both burn very well.
    Finally, once again the governor wants to use K12 students to further his platform, just as he did to “educate” students on his budget strategy.

    • It looks like the “death knell” of Walker’s chance of being re-elected. Is there a tax he does not like? Voters will soon show their disdain for him.

    • What’s wrong with using K12 students to further his platform?
      .
      They’re a captive audience.
      .
      They have to sit reasonably quietly.
      .
      Alaska’s education industry successfully insulated its customers from anything remotely resembling critical thinking, so they can’t argue intelligently.
      .
      Best of all, K12 inmates don’t care about his damned carbon tax, because they don’t have to pay it.
      .
      What’s not to like?

  • Tax, tax tax. We have to teach these people how to stop sining & to behave properly without ordering them around (requires a dictator) & taxes accomplish that. You’ll notice the state does this-the state controls that. They say money is power & this is a prime example. Once you go full steam ahead using the sin tax concept there is no end to it. There are already taxes on fuel etc. This would be on top of those. Firearms & ammo are another example. You want freedom? Nobody’s stopping you…but we’ll make you pay for it. In my mind thats excessive government regardless of the reason.

  • The centerpiece of the plan, which may be found in a footnote in an appendix, is that the proceeds of a carbon tax would be distributed to members of qualifying Green organizations and the Occupy movement in the form of direct cash payments. Further, these payments would be considered permanent entitlements for purposes of State law and would not require Legislative appropriation or audits.

  • What is it with this guy’s pathological drive for taxation? Walker’s worldview seems to be like that of an overeating man who’s answer is to keep buying larger pants instead of going on a diet. Get a clue Bill – people are not going to vote for a guy who will take money out of their pockets. No income taxes, no increased user fees, no taxes on industry, no carbon taxes, no no no. A competent governor will be the one who refocuses state government on what it is supposed to be doing: funding public safety, education, and infrastructure development. Then maybe we can grow a sound economy with living wage jobs that attract quality citizens to Alaska instead of SB91-centric criminals who think they’ve found the promised land.

  • It would be good to have a short biographic report on all of the members of the Climate Action Leadership Team. I know the background and political leanings of a few of the members, but there are many more that I do not know anything about. I do not think that I am alone in my lack of knowledge about the members of this team. I think that have a pretty good idea of the majority of the members political leanings and the lack of their economic understanding. It is glaringly evident in the finished document and its center piece of a carbon tax. I doubt that someone who leans to the right would be on this committee and if they did happen to get seated they would be in the minority without much if any input to the finished product.

    If a carbon tax could not pass in left leaning Washington State, I would not give a carbon tax much of a chance to pass here. BUT….., we did elect Walker and Mallot.

    • They are trying to bring it back down here

  • Please look at the boondoggle the rail line they are building down in Seattle. Billions overbudge. Under ridership projections. Your Gov sounds like our Gov. Is he a democrat? Lived up there for 2 yrs. best yrs of my life. Hope your state doesn’t turn into mine

  • While it’s technically true that “No state has yet implemented a carbon tax”, there are cap and trade “programs” that are de facto taxation. California has had this program in place for years…maybe Bill would be more comfortable living in California.

    Is Walker running to the left of Begich? He seems to be purposely tanking his incumbent candidacy.

  • Bernie is that you? And what are you doing in Juneau Alaska???

  • What the Climate Action Leadership Team draft report proves is that the authors have no knowledge of physical economy.

    From the point of view of someone who has been building infrastructure and industrial productive capacity for the past 42 years, the agenda of promoting wind mills, bio-mass, solar panels and Wall Street gambling under the guise of climate change proves their ignorance of the basic principles of industrial science—I have helped to build hundreds of industrial sites and I am currently in Levelock Alaska building a fish processing plant.

    Oil companies and their financial interests who influence government policy know that truly competitive qualitatively transforming technologies will disrupt their income flows so they promote controlled opposition technologies and Wall Street gambling schemes that do not have the physical ability to transform current productive capacity.

    They fear a future World that uses clean fusion/hydrogen/electric as the primary modes of production so billions of dollars are spent to promote inefficient technologies that can work but do not act to disrupt the current environmentally damaging industrial productive capacity.

    Any common person who is looking at this issue should question why a Climate Action Leadership Team is being given the ability to determine industrial policy for Alaska—which is an area they clearly are not qualified to judge.

    Even though there are a few interesting recommendations, the recklessly false solutions promoted by this climate change political lobby will continue to distract us away from the actual workable solutions based on the time-proven science of technology. Science should inform public policy not oil company controlled opposition propaganda.

    Establishing a “Green Bank” that rejects the basic principles of industrial science is the worst part of this proposal.

    A competent industrial policy for Alaska would promote plasma processing for primary reduction of strategic minerals, clean fuels and capital good production and is identified in the 10-part series titled the Alaska Emergency Employment Mobilization.

    Part 10 of this series is the advocacy for creating the Alaska State Bank as a true development bank.

    The draft legislation for this bank includes investing using the basic principles of industrial science and efficiency as identified in the following alphabetically ordered list from the 2018 House Bill 376: amperage, brightness, British thermal units, clarity, conductivity, dynamics, energy coherence, energy conversion, energy flux density, horsepower, intelligence, joules, luminosity, machine tool principle, miniaturization, newtons, plasma coherence, potential population density, principle of least action, productivity, qualitative transformation, radiancy, reliability, renewability, self-organization, sustainability, thermal efficiency, throughput, torque, transparency, volumetric energy density, volumetric energy efficiency, voltage, wattage, and work flux density.

    Let us consider these actual principles of industrial science and reject authors who have no knowledge of physical economy.

    More information is available at the Alaska State Bank Advocate Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alaskastatebank/

    • Confiscating money from productive Alaskans and giving it to a state-operated bank is not a basic, constitutional duty of state government.
      .
      State control of private industry through direct regulation of investment capital does not seem like a desirable outcome in any constitutional, capitalist society, especially one in which the idea of reducing the size and reach of state government is gaining momentum.

  • Can we be certain that “Walker” isn’t really Algore or maybe Nutty Old Uncle Bernie dressed up as an innocent little lamb?