The Citizens Climate Lobby people continue the scripted drumbeat for a carbon fee and dividend program. Let’s weigh it up?
First, there is of necessity new or enlarged bureaucracy created at significant expense to collect, administer and enforce the “fee.” Then we know from centuries of precedent that such a bureaucracy will enlarge over time. A notable example is the Department of Energy, which started with a narrow, “helpful” scope and grew into a gargantuan, consumptive monster of highly questionable value for cost. And schemers always get their cut.
Next, we note that a fee charged a producer is always passed immediately to the consumer. So the fee is partly given the consumer to help pay the increased bill from the producer, leaving him no (claimed) money to put back into the market. The tiny or nonexistent remainder not consumed by the bureaucracy is said to stimulate alternate energy generation and create “millions of new jobs,” which are most effectively addressed by competitive markets.
Absent immediate efficiency increase or interest, overall economic gains are very unlikely. And all this for something that will have very little or no effect on climate.