Musk on Carbon Tax

Musk on Carbon Tax

I didn't see this video before and thought it would be nice to share if you need to convince anyone or the pertinence of a carbon tax
https://www dot youtube dot com/watch?v=xKCuDxpccYM

stevenmaifert | 3 januari 2017

At about the 9:30 point in his discussion, Musk starts to talk about making the carbon tax a revenue neutral tax. Watch and listen: Now, when it comes to environmental issues, Washington State is about as progressively liberal as it gets, yet last November the voters rejected exactly what Musk was proposing: So it all sounds good in theory, but it's still a hard sell, particularly when you have green advocacy groups rejecting the revenue neutrality and wanting the carbon tax money to be spent on green things.

SCCRENDO | 3 januari 2017

And rightly so. We have a climate change crisis so lets stop playing games. Green industries should be rewarded and fossil fuel companies punished. We don't give child molesters time to adjust to being with children.

stevenmaifert | 3 januari 2017

A carbon tax hits low-income households the hardest. The Washington State proposal would have given tax rebates of up to $1,500 per year to 460,000 low-income households to offset their share of the tax. I guess there are some commenters here who think it's okay for the poor to shoulder more taxes as long as the carbon tax revenue is spent the way the greenies want it spent instead of making it revenue neutral as Elon proposed. Oh well, what does Elon know anyway.

SCCRENDO | 3 januari 2017

@stevenmaifert So the $1500 rebate to low income earners is a bad thing? If not enough they can penalize the fossil fuel industry more and raise the rebate

stevenmaifert | 3 januari 2017

@SCCRENDO - A carbon tax imposed on the entities that produce the CO2 will be passed on to the consumers of that entities products in the form of higher prices. The whole idea with Elon's revenue neutral concept is that those higher prices paid will be offset/neutralized with tax cuts to the consumers in other areas, like sales taxes. Rebates up to $1500 to low income earners is a good thing to offset a higher gasoline and electricity bill among other things, caused by the carbon tax. The green groups in Washington State didn't like that approach because they felt the carbon tax revenues should be used to promote green things, rather than used to neutralize the effect of the carbon tax on consumer prices. I think had it passed, it would have been a good first start. In the end, I think the ballot measure failed, not because green groups were against it, but because the voters were skeptical of the revenue neutral promises. The lesson here is that if you can't get a carbon tax passed in a state that is as environmentally conscious as Washington, good luck getting it passed anywhere else.

SO | 3 januari 2017

At least at the moment, we have the luxury of only caring about the financial impact. For now....

But of course we will wait until we have no choice but to change our ways. And by then, we can pay many times the current amount to correct the issue, if it isn't too late by then.

SCCRENDO | 3 januari 2017

@SO_S90D +1 again

johndoeeyed | 4 januari 2017

https://en.wikipedia DOT org/wiki/British_Columbia_carbon_tax

FISHEV | 4 januari 2017

Problem with carbon tax or using tax policy in general to acheive policy ends is that it is indirect. It may not even fix the problem.

Better to directly address the problem. Sources of emissions need to be regulated such that they are required to reduce emissions by definitive steps to reach a definitive goal.

For cars, emissions have to reduced to zero by 2040 so by 2050. Cars are responsible for 20% of green house gas emissions.

If cars are going to be EV to acheive this goal, then electricity generation, responsible for 30% of green house gas emissions, needs to also be zero by 2050. Solar, wind, fission, geothermal.

Industrial emissions are 21%, industry has to be zero by 2050.

Mandating the means to the goal, allowing 30 years for industry to find whatever solution works best for them is the best way to go vs. indirect carbon taxes which have equity issues and are not even proven to work to fix the problem.

Tesla-David | 4 januari 2017

EM is totally right about the revenue Carbon Tax. We had a chance to pass an incredibly powerful revenue Carbon Tax here in WA, but not enough support from people who should have voted for it. It is very similar to the one enacted in British Columbia which has been doing very well, growing the economy, and reducing carbon emissions. As a member of Citizens Climate Lobby, we are actively working to enact a National revenue neutral Carbon Tax (

Remnant | 4 januari 2017

@SCCRENDO (January 3, 2017)

<< We have a climate change crisis ... >>

This is a LIE. It's pointless to debate a LIE.

(1) There's been 0 increase in the average temperature on earth in 20 years & it's been only about 0.8°C since 1880.

(2) Furthermore, the narrative attributing the major GHG effect to CO2 is false. Water vapors are the main GHG.

(3) In addition, the national and global campaign to tax, regulate, and mandate mankind “beyond” fossil fuels is bound to be either an expensive exercise in futility or a humanitarian disaster.


SCCRENDO | 4 januari 2017

@Remnant. Wrong, wrong and wrong. This has been well debated on these boards with people with more understanding than you. The data is all there.Climate change is real and needs to be addressed. When you can come up with real data that supports your point of view get back to me. Your 2 links are not links. They do not work.

Remnant | 4 januari 2017

@SCCRENDO (January 4, 2017)

<< Your 2 links are not links. They do not work. >>

It's a single link, not 2. Just add https:// to it.

SCCRENDO | 4 januari 2017

@Remnant. An opinion piece from someone without scientific qualifications. Instead of quoting him provide the science

finman100 | 5 januari 2017

good god that marlo guy is just dumb. so sad, the people that "interpret" science and fact ACTUALLY HAVE NO SCIENCE background. "An interest in science"? yeah, I'm getting all the data from that guy. sheesh.

radami2 | 5 januari 2017

@Remnant. A link to an opinion piece is not data. If the opinion piece has data, link to that. I am not going to try to validate the data of the opinion piece when you did not. You have to do better than that to win converts to your religion.

reed_lewis | 6 januari 2017

CEI is the Competitive Enterprise Institute which is right wing organization more concerned with small government,

check this out:

Remnant | 6 januari 2017

@reed_lewis (January 6, 2017)

<< CEI is the Competitive Enterprise Institute which is right wing organization more concerned with small government, >>

I have long been on the lookout for a left wing one that's thoughtful enough to be worth quoting or citing, but they are only quotable for grudge, idiocy, and antisocial policies.

nadurse | 6 januari 2017

Please kindly ignore Remnant, who suffers from severe confirmation bias. All it does is drive every conversation into the muck.

That being said, the only hope that a carbon tax has is to make it revenue neutral, and phased in over several years like was proposed in the Musk youtube video.

The greenies wont like this because its not idealistic enough for them, well I say tough. Some progress is better than no progress. The fact is that cost increases will almost assuredly be passed onto the consumer. So yes if it WERENT revenue neutral it will make fossil fuels not nearly competitive with their TRUE COSTS coming to bear, but in reality the low income households/people will get hit the hardest because they have the least opportunity to transfer to other sources of energy... they are worried about keeping the lights on, not where the energy to keep said lights on comes from.

So another way would be to have provisions in there to CAP the % increase in utility rates over a certain period of time, with consideration for natural fluctuations/volatility that is the associated with fossil fuels. Conservatives will cry foul about big bad government, but again i say tough. Government is already in bed with the energy sector so not much will actually change and I think ultimately its unfair and unhealthy for everyone to keep going down this path were these externality costs are left on the public tab. And i think this establish cap is better than simply cutting a check to low income households to use as they see fit.

One other thing I liked about the youtube video, is that Musk mentions nuclear in the same sentence as the other renewables, with the caveat about location susceptibility for natural disasters. I feel like this energy source is often overlooked for the purpose combating carbon emissions and pollution.

ColdOne | 6 januari 2017

@nadurse, If the utility cap is small enough to make a big difference in the choices the poor make, then you are basically paying them to destroy the environment. A better solution is a tax credit/rebate and let the people decide how they want to spend it.

nadurse | 6 januari 2017

@ColdOne, i dont think i understand what you mean by "paying them to destroy the environment"... Im not suggesting paying anyone anything. I'm suggesting saying to the utility, you shall not increase your rates above X% for a given time frame, so they dont overcharge people who cant afford to upgrade to solar installations. So if utilities start losing some of their profits due to the carbon tax, they cant squeeze the end consumers (regardless of their income) for more money.

Actually the rebate plan sounds more like "paying them to destroy the environment"... because most of the low income people wont turn around and use that rebate to help pay for a solar installation, that money is going to be used to pay the higher electric bill and go right back into the utility's account when they rake them over the coals because the companies profits are decreasing.

ColdOne | 7 januari 2017

So your solution is to apply the carbon tax to businesses, but not let them pass on the higher costs to their customers? Tesla would get stuck with a $10k carbon tax and only be able to raise prices by $500? Not only is that a terrible economic voodoo policy, IMO, it just has no chance of passing. I wouldn't vote for it.

Whenever you are subsidizing (or undercharging for) a product you are influencing people to use more of that product and that creates inefficiency and waste. The whole point of a revenue neutral carbon tax is to make people pay their fair share, not to let them continue to waste out of ignorance and self-interest.

By subsidizing utility rates you are giving little incentive for people to change their behavior. Why would I bother looking for greener options, an electric car, more efficient windows, etc. if someone else is paying for the fuel I waste?

If we are assuming that low income people care about money they will do the right thing and use their rebate in the most cost efficient way. If the carbon tax is built in to prices they will buy the product that is better for the environment. They have to.

SCCRENDO | 7 januari 2017

@coldone. Perhaps I have missed something here but why would Elon be charged a Carbon tax? It's the ICE manufacturers that will pay the carbon tax. Musk would be the one to get the credit.

Wikipedia has a good detailed summary of the carbon tax. It is complicated

@Stevenmaifert is correct in that the tax can potentially selectively punish the poor. The answer however is to provide relief in subsidies, credits, rebates etc
"Carbon taxes offer a potentially cost-effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.[7] From an economic perspective, carbon taxes are a type of Pigovian tax.[8] They help to address the problem of emitters of greenhouse gases not facing the full social cost of their actions. Carbon taxes can be a regressive tax, in that they may directly or indirectly affect low-income groups disproportionately. The regressive impact of carbon taxes could be addressed by using tax revenues to favour low-income groups.[9]"

It is interesting that environmental groups are against the carbon tax. My take is that it is a great idea but needs to be structured so it serves its purpose.

"In 2016, a group of climate activists put an initiative for a revenue-neutral carbon tax on the November ballot in Washington State. If approved by voters, it would have imposed a tax on carbon dioxide emissions and used that revenue to decrease the state's sales tax, the business tax, and expand the state's version of the earned income tax credit for low-income workers."

And the summary of the distributional impacts
"Distributional impacts Edit

In most instances, firms pass the costs of a carbon price onto consumers. Studies typically find that poor consumers spend a greater proportion of their income on energy-intensive goods and fuel, and cost increases in energy tend to impact the poor worse than the rich.[228] Therefore, if the revenue from a carbon tax is retained by the government, a price on carbon is expected to be regressive, similar to any policy that increases the cost of fuels and energy.

A study by Resources for the Future (2014) examined the regressive nature of a carbon tax evaluating three different options for the use of a revenue neutral carbon tax. The study concluded that distributing the fee back to the public as a lump sum payment eliminates the regressive nature of the carbon tax, where people in the lower 60% of income brackets will, on average, perceive a positive impact on their household welfare.[229]

Studies by Metcalf et al. (2008) and Metcalf (2009) consider the possible distributional impacts of carbon taxes in the United States.[230] The 2008 study considers three recent tax bills introduced to the US Congress. The taxes themselves are highly regressive, but when revenues from the tax are returned lump-sum, the taxes become progressive. The 2009 study looks at a carbon tax combined with a reduction in payroll taxes. It is found that this combination can be distributionally neutral. With an adjustment in Social Security payments for the lowest-income households, the carbon tax policy can be made progressive.

A study by Ekins and Dresner (2004) considers the distributional impact in the UK of introducing a carbon tax and increasing fuel duty.[231] It is found that a carbon tax can be made progressive, but that the tax would make those currently worst affected by fuel poverty more badly off. Of the policy options looked at for transport, the most effective in compensating low-income motorists is found to be an increase in fuel duties and the abolishment of vehicle excise duty."

Remnant | 7 januari 2017

@nadurse (January 6, 2017)

<< Please kindly ignore Remnant, who suffers from severe confirmation bias. All it does is drive every conversation into the muck. >>

Using taxes for changing market behaviors is ignorant.

On the top of this, designing details of such a taxing plan is also stupid.

It makes that designer look like he's from another planet. It might work for EM, because he probably thinks of himself as a Martian, but most other people would look like retards.

SCCRENDO | 7 januari 2017

Explain with some data why changing market behaviors with taxes is ignorant. Many would suggest that making random statements without evidence is ignorant.
If we design a tax would it not be stupid to not design details?
Your use of the word "retard' is derogatory, insulting to many and inappropriate. I guess it would be ok if you were referring to yourself.

ColdOne | 7 januari 2017

@sccrendo, there are different ways to structure a carbon tax. Producing a Tesla vehicle is hugely destructive to the environment and, IMO, they should be charged for that. I honestly don't know whether producing a Tesla is worse for the environment than producing a Hummer. It might well be.

However, in a fair world the cost of driving that Hummer would then be 10x higher than for the Tesla, because of the carbon tax applied to the fuels used. That is how to motivate people to make environmental choices. You can't pat yourself on the back for buying a Tesla or two and keeping it in your garage.

Credits would go to those who actually reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

SCCRENDO | 7 januari 2017

@coldone. I agree that credits should go to those that reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Yes I should be patted on the back for having a Tesla rather than a Hummer in my garage. Car manufacturers indeed need to find ways of reducing the carbon footprint of manufacture but I would love to see a good non fossil fuel funded study "wells to wheels" where a Tesla comes comes even close to the carbon footprint of a Hummer.

ColdOne | 7 januari 2017

@sccrendo, if having one Tesla in your garage is good for the environment, why not buy two or three? If everyone just bought ten Teslas then global warming would be licked.

In fact, buying a Tesla is terrible for the environment. Even driving a Tesla is not good for the environment. You don't get patted on the back for either of those actions.

NOT buying a Hummer is good for the environment. NOT driving a Hummer is great for the environment. For that you do get some credit.

It reminds me of the flak that Schwarzenegger was getting for owning multiple Hummers. Hello? You can only drive one at a time.

SCCRENDO | 7 januari 2017

@coldone. What is good for the environment would be to get rid of humans. But lets get realistic. I am buying a second Tesla. But the logic is not that the more Teslas we buy the more we save the environment. The logic is that the more Teslas we buy instead of Hummers and indeed most ICE vehicles the better the environment will be.

ColdOne | 7 januari 2017

@sccrendo, show your math, please. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that manufacturing a Tesla is better for the environment than manufacturing a Hyundai? There is no reason at all to subsidize a Tesla if you really care about the environment. How much more driving are you going to have to do with two Teslas to offset the cost of production? Trick question, think carefully.

Should we congratulate an A list celebrity for flying First Class rather than taking a private plane. How much should we subsidize first class tickets?

Isn't the better option to encourage not flying at all? Equivalently, maybe take the bus instead of driving a Tesla or even just stay home? I don't think we have to go all the way to annihilating the species to find a "good" solution.

ALL flying is bad for the environment. ALL driving is bad.

Simple solution is to put a fair price on everything and let people change their behavior appropriately. Not pat ourselves on the back because I'm not polluting as much as Arnold Schwazzenegger or Brad Pitt.

SCCRENDO | 7 januari 2017

@coldone. In typical denial fashion you have provided no data nor math to support you data say I would say it is disingenuous for you to ask me to to disprove your incorrect unsubstantiated statement.
That said I will take the bait anyway. This has been well discussed in the past. There was a lot written on this. But for starters I have pulled up a good refutation of an exaggerated anti-Tesla article by a guy called Weiss. In addition I need to add the calculations are all made with Teslas charged off the electric grid and charging in West Virginia would be relatively dirty. But many States have clean grids and continue to clean up their grids. I live in California and the majority my electricity comes from my solar panels.

ColdOne | 7 januari 2017

@sccrendo, in fact I have showed my math, but in typical denial fashion you don't even understand the question and keep throwing out irrelevant information.

Here's the math again in its most simple form:

1 > 0
1000*1 > 0

Let me know if you don't want to take my word for it and need a link.

Testlas are not only very expensive in terms of carbon to make, but they are absolutely not zero emission vehicles. Your link makes these very points. Thanks for that.

Buying a Tesla is terrible for the environment. Period. You can get in it and drive around the block for a million miles and it will only get progressively worse.

Any fair carbon tax scheme will recognize this and put a fair NON-ZERO tax on buying the car and the electricity used to charge and drive a Tesla to encourage other behavior. Pretending that buying or driving ANY vehicle has no carbon cost is just insane.

ColdOne | 7 januari 2017

Here's a pop quiz to see if you understand the material.

Bob has a Tesla Model S. Carol has a Hummer H2. Which of them is causing more damage to the environment? Which of them needs to pay a carbon tax?

Remnant | 7 januari 2017

@SCCRENDO (January 7, 2017)

<< Explain with some data why changing market behaviors with taxes is ignorant. >>

Taxes are intended to provide the government with the revenue it needs for its LEGITIMATE expenditures, not to steer economic activities, in order to produce some results preferred by the politicians or their constituencies.

(The US Constitution lists the legitimate Federal expenditures as the Powers of Congress, under Article 1, Sec. 8.)

This is the principle of NEUTRALITY of taxation. A Carbon Tax would not be neutral.

See Economics 101 or Taxation Principles 101.
Or try

SCCRENDO | 7 januari 2017

@Remnant. You have your own definition of legitimate. From your link
"The tax principles outlined here are not the only criteria used by policymakers in enacting tax changes— and these principles can come into conflict with each other. But almost everyone would agree that advocates of tax reform should keep each of these principles in mind as they seek to improve their state’s tax system"

@coldone. Show me where in the article it said that Teslas are terrible for the environment. Only point paid was that if you use electricity in a coal state like Virginia the electricity is not as clean but still better than most ICE vehicles. In a clean electricity state like California Tesla in so much cleaner. And if your electricity comes from solar you are completely clean. Learn and post some real facts. You have shown no data. Your 1>0 is a pure idiotic statement. How about 16>13.

With all due respects I am not going to spend much time arguing with an ignoramus. Here is a link to some of the many discussions on this forum.

And also a good article from David Nolan reviewing the Weiss article.

ColdOne | 8 januari 2017

@sccrendo, I can't tell if you are incredibly dense or just incredibly stubborn. Find someone smarter or more openminded than you and have them explain why this entire subthread has gone over your head. You are completely clueless.

Feel free to keep posting links that are completely irrelevant to the conversation. Does it make you feel smart to keep 'proving' points that no one here is arguing with and reliving previous discussions that are off topic?

Mike83 | 8 januari 2017

Carbon tax in process already; a few links;

The costs of burning fossil fuels is tremendous. They should be taxed and not given welfare taxpayers monies.
The world knows this and is doing something about it and most of the US is on board. The fossil fuel interests are tainting our government and will cost all of us money, health and a worse environment. Any thinking person can see it for themselves.

Remnant | 8 januari 2017

@SCCRENDO (January 7, 2017)

<< @Remnant. You have your own definition of legitimate. >>

My own ... ?! Perhaps my first impression of you, that you were passionately adverse to everything based on the US Constitution, was correct, after all.

Be that as it may, have you examined Ballonoff's take on this?

You have an opportunity, at this historic juncture, to jettison your Hillary-infested misreading of America and spread of un-American values, slogans and lies.

StayThePhoqueHome | 8 januari 2017

Don't worry if you don't agree guys. Super AIs will overcome the human race for the good of the planet. No more hummer driving just for the sake of fun and ego. As long as the subjectivity of the human is there, any rational, mathematical and scientific proven calculations will never prevail over benefits. Majority of humans would prefer owning and traveling to a private island than staying home to reduce CO2 for the sake of the planet. That is how capitalism raised us.

SCCRENDO | 8 januari 2017

@EVolution. This is not an issue of having a zero carbon footprint. Most of us are in favor of the freedom to live a "normal" life. And the earth can tolerate a certain degree of waste and toxins. However we are already beyond the point where the earth can continue to buffer our waste. Thus we need to take action to at a bare minimum hold the line and if possible reverse the trend. We will always have some carbon footprint and spew out some toxins but we need to ammeliorate this as much as possible. Developing nations are likely always going to need that larger carbon footprint

ColdOne | 8 januari 2017

@EVolution, the point of a carbon tax and making people pay for other external costs (even smug Tesla owners), is so that the 'benefits' align with the fair costs to society (this is where the 'rational, mathematical and scientific proven calculations' come in). We do the math so people who are lazy or aren't good at it (like some of the people in this thread) don't have to.

In that world, I'm fine with you buying a Hummer a 2nd Tesla or even a 10th Tesla. However, right now you are pushing your external costs on me and I'd reather not subsidize your selfish choices.

SCCRENDO | 8 januari 2017

@coldone. So where is your math (and should be accompanied by science) that shows that Teslas are as dirty as ICE vehicles???

ColdOne | 8 januari 2017

@sccrendo, so where is your math that shows that buying Teslas for everyone in the world will singlehandedly eliminate global warming?

StayThePhoqueHome | 8 januari 2017

1.2 billion vehicles in the world
2008 US average fuel economy: 8.9L/100 km
185 mol of CO2 per gallon of gas

Tesla uses electrons, Hummer uses Octane.

Octane, C8 H18 , is one of the components of gasoline.
The density of octane is 0.7025 g/ml.
One gallon of octane is equivalent to 23.2 mol of octane.
1 gal = 3.785 L.
When octane burns in the oxygen in the atmosphere,
carbon dioxide and water are produced.

The complete combustion of octane,
C8H18, a component of gasoline,
proceeds as is shown below.

2 C8H18(l) + 25 O2(g) --> 16 CO2(g) + 18 H2O(l)

How many grams of Octane in 1 mole?
The answer is 114.22852.
The molecular formula for Octane is C8H18.
The SI base unit for amount of substance is the mole.
1 gram of Octane is equal to 0.00875438113004 mole.

2C8H18(g ) + 25O2( g) → 16CO2( g) + 18H2O(g) +

2 mol + 25 mol = 27 mol ; 16 mol + 18 mol = 34 mol

In this representative reaction, a total of
27 moles of gas are converted into 34 moles of gas.

8 moles of CO2 per 1 mol of Octane, 912 grams

185 mol of CO2 per gallon of gas

SCCRENDO | 8 januari 2017

@coldone. Your Turn. You claim to be the mathematician. Show me where a Tesla is as dirty as ice with some science please. I have provided articles showing Tesla to have a low carbon footprint. You make wild claims that Tesla is as dirty if not dirtier than ICE. So show some science first and if you wish do your math afterwards.

ColdOne | 8 januari 2017

US$ 450 million for the first unmanned Mars lander mission
US$ 425 million for the communications satellite
US$ 900 million for the first rover mission
US$ 2,300 million for all remaining outpost hardware and supplies before the human mission US$ 1,250 million for sending the first crew to Mars
US$ 582 million for operations, including astronaut selection and training
US$ 93 million for ground stations and other costs
US$ 1,850 million per year for follow-up human missions

Jeff Hudson | 8 januari 2017


ColdOne | 8 januari 2017

@sccredo, your turn.

I don't understand what you hope to get out of this ridiculous game you've invented, but I'm fascinated by it.

Do you have training at improv comedy?

ColdOne | 8 januari 2017

@ticobird, I can understand your confusion if you haven't followed the whole thread.

Sccredo has invented a game where he makes up a wild assertion that is irrelevant to the topic and then demands that others prove that assertion.

Then he posts links and random data to prove that he was right all along (on a topic that no one here is discussing or refuting).

SCCRENDO | 8 januari 2017

@ticobird. I am with you on this one. Not sure what thread he is on. Didn't know we were talking about space missions. Thought this was about a carbon tax when he started babbling about Tesla being dirtier than ICE vehicles. I guess we are now into the cost of space exploration. A new breed of trolling indeed. To what purpose is not clear. Perhaps another climate change denier trying to disrupt a thread. Guess I may also need a cold one. But he may be a few dozen ahead of me. I think we need to press the ignore button on this one.
@EVolution. Thank you for the math.