I recently blogged that a whistleblower revealed startling evidence that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency rushed to release a widely-cited paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Despite the clear evidence of science fraud, big government bureaucrats are still promoting climate change policy. In fact, a group of long-time Republicans who have held high-level government positions are now promoting a “carbon tax” to address changes in global weather patterns.

This so-called carbon tax is being touted as a “Conservative Climate Solution“:

The group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr., a former secretary of the Treasury, says that taxing carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels is “a conservative climate solution” based on free-market principles.

Mr. Baker is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, the senior adviser to the president, and Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, as well as Ivanka Trump.

In an interview, Mr. Baker said that the plan followed classic conservative principles of free-market solutions and small government. He suggested that even former President Ronald Reagan would have blessed the plan: “I’m not at all sure the Gipper wouldn’t have been very happy with this.” He said he had no idea how the proposal would be received by the current White House or Congress.

As an environmental health professional, I will counter this proposal by noting:

1) Sensible conservatives do not base policy on fraud.
2) “Carbon pollution” is actually carbon dioxide, which is essential for plant life (and subsequently critical for all life).
3) The only climate higher taxes will change is the economic climate…and not in a good way.

How is this collection of Republican grand poobahs packaging this tax plan to make it appealing to the Trump administration? By promising to return the tax to the American people. After establishing a carbon tax that starts at $40 per ton, the monies collected would be redistributed in the form of a quarterly check from the Social Security Administration to every American family.

Baker and his colleagues estimate that the average family of four would receive $2,000 annually in dividends from the fee if it starts at $40 per ton, and as the tax rises, so would their dividends. This would naturally create a constituency for ever-tougher climate change action. They also assert that the proposal would be fundamentally progressive because everyone would receive the same amount of revenue from the tax regardless of their income level, meaning the new source of income would make a bigger difference for poorer people than for wealthier ones.

I suspect those “poorer people” would prefer NOT to pay the extra money for gasoline, electricity, and necessities like food (which would be the most direct consequence of the carbon tax). Furthermore, many Americans would prefer to get paid directly for doing jobs related to the extraction of petroleum for natural resources (or otherwise providing services to the industry or its workers). Additionally, Social Security benefit distribution is ripe with waste and fraud opportunities.

The model is rather like Obamacare: Buy your pricey health insurance, and then apply to the government for a credit based on parameters set by the politicians. The collapse of that system is proof of the model’s failure.

Happily, I think this “conservative carbon tax” is going to be a hard sell.

Trump himself has come out against the idea, rejecting a carbon tax in responses to a survey by the American Energy Alliance last March. Many of the conservative advocates guiding Trump’s energy and environment policy also eschew the idea.

This policy sighting clearly shows that the RINO is not extinct. Hopefully, President Trump and his science policy advisors will treat this “conservative climate plan” as the government power-grabbing scheme that it is.