U.S. Carbon Tax to Shovel Dollars to U.N. Bureaucrats?

COMMENTARY Environment

U.S. Carbon Tax to Shovel Dollars to U.N. Bureaucrats?

Nov 27, 2012 3 min read

Former Senior Research Fellow, Labor Markets and Trade

David Kreutzer researched and wrote about labor markets and trade.

It appears there will be an international dining section for hogs at the carbon-tax trough.

Any new tax that promises hundreds of billions of dollars per year, as a carbon tax does, would bring out the special-interest hogs, and one of the interests likely to be fed by any federal carbon tax is the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund.

The U.N. has plans to spend $100 billion per year to fund climate initiatives that aren’t already funded by a host of other international climate funds. They have picked out the city for the fund’s headquarters and will be ready to go as soon as they take care of one last detail: getting the money. Bake sales and car washes wouldn’t bring in that kind of money, but a carbon tax would.

Which brings us to liberals’ favorite pastime: hoodwinking conservatives. The scam of the moment is a carbon tax. The bait for this most recent bait-and-switch is calling it a revenue-neutral carbon tax. We have already shown that this is not a real possibility.

What is at least as interesting as the lack of revenue neutrality is determining who will get the revenue. A large chunk of it is very likely to go to the $100 billion U.N. fund.

As I have noted in testimony before Congress, all of the proposed cap-and-trade bills included mechanisms for taking money from energy consumers and spending it on foreign climate initiatives. So, for those following climate legislation, it should be of little surprise that the Office of Environment and Energy in the Treasury Department is housed within Treasury’s Office of International Affairs.

Further, as a letter from Senator David Vitter (R–LA) notes, the Office of Environment and Energy seems to have had quite a correspondence concerning something involving the word carbon. There are more than 7,300 e-mails to and from Treasury over the last year that contain the word carbon. Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) notes:

It’s possible this office, whose sole purpose was to manage a cap-and-trade or carbon tax program was despairing, in thousands of emails, why people no longer use carbon paper.… Otherwise, it seems we have an enormous history over the past year of discussions with lobbyists, pressure groups, contributors and maybe even Republicans about how to impose this massive new energy tax.

For all intents and purposes, Treasury told CEI that the 7,300 e-mails discussing “carbon” were nobody else’s business. So CEI sued.

We may never find out what “carbon” topic so occupied the Office of Environment and Energy—whether it was a carbon tax, carbon paper, or tacos al carbon. However, we do know that this office was created when it looked like there would be hundreds of billions of dollars in allowance revenue from a cap-and-trade bill and that it is housed in Treasury’s Office of International Affairs. We also know that all the cap-and-trade bills had provisions for funding international climate initiatives.

So it is hardly tin-foil-hat paranoia to wonder if there are plans to use a supposedly revenue-neutral carbon tax to send billions of dollars per year overseas. At the very least, those hoping to retain their conservative credentials should wait to get this point cleared up before they even consider talking about a carbon tax.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal