by Michael Bastasch
Libertarian Party presidential nominee and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he’s no skeptic of man-made global warming and endorsed a “fee” on carbon dioxide emissions.
It’s all part of his “free market” approach to global warming, Johnson told the Juneau Empire in an article published Sunday.
“I do believe that climate change is occurring,” Johnson said. “I do believe that it is man-caused” and “that there can be and is a free-market approach to climate change.”
Johnson’s “free market” approach to global warming, includes “a fee — not a tax, he said — placed on carbon” to make those who emit the greenhouse gas pay the supposed cost of their actions, according to the Juneau Empire.
“We as human beings want to see carbon emissions reduced significantly,” he said, adding the U.S. only emits “16 percent of the (global) load” CO2.
Johnson said: “I don’t want to do anything that harms jobs.”
It’s not exactly clear how a “fee” on CO2 would be different than a “tax,” but Johnson’s announcement was picked up by environmentalists
Johnson’s carbon “fee” was touted by the group RepublicEN, a group of conservatives who endorse a carbon tax. RepublicEN has joined with environmentalists to promote a carbon tax as the best way to tackle global warming.
But they’re basically alone on the right, as most conservative groups see a carbon tax as a fool’s errand, and the Republican Party explicitly rejected a carbon tax in its 2016 platform.
“We oppose any carbon-tax,” reads the 2016 platform. “It would increase energy prices across the board, hitting hardest at the families who are already struggling to pay their bill in the Democrats’ no-growth economy.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told campaigners at the American Energy Alliance in March he opposed a carbon tax.
“The Obama administration committed an overreach that punishes rather than helps Americans,” Trump answered in AEA’s survey. “Under my administration, all EPA rules will be reviewed. Any regulation that imposes undue costs on business enterprises will be eliminated.”
Republicans have been increasingly concerned about attempts to get a carbon tax through Congress. GOP lawmakers often argue taxing CO2 would amount to an energy tax that would raise the price of everything, hurting the poor.
Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse introduced a carbon tax bill last year to raise $2 trillion over 10 years and reduce CO2 emissions 40 percent. Whitehouse has also called on the Department of Justice to prosecute those who disagree with him on global warming.
Johnson’s campaign did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.