Gore: Pro-carbon tax editorial a 'must-read'

The environmental activist posted sections of the editorial, entitled "A least-worst tax," on his blog late Friday. 

Citing "several prominent figures, most notably Greg Mankiw of Harvard, a former economic adviser to the George W. Bush family and Mitt Romney," the Financial Times' editorial board lists various reasons for enacting a carbon tax.

"While the adjustment to higher energy costs would have some negative impact, it would be offset by the benefits of cuts in other taxes. Curbing consumption would also improve energy security, making the economy less vulnerable to commodity price shocks. President Barack Obama on Friday set out an energy agenda including reduced oil imports, greater use of natural gas and increased energy efficiency. A carbon tax would help meet all of those goals," the editorial board wrote on March 15.

The board took issue with what it deemed an unsubstantiated claim recently by more than 80 Republicans lawmakers that "carbon taxes would 'kill millions more jobs,' " saying those lawmakers have "no evidence to support it."

The editorial board noted "carbon taxes have their drawbacks, it is true, but their problems are mostly fixable. They are regressive, but that could be offset by changes to other taxes. They can create difficulties for energy-intensive sectors, but those could be eased with targeted reliefs."

The Senate killed an amendment, 41-58, to the budget resolution on Friday that would have ensured that revenue from any carbon tax be returned to the U.S. public through deficit reduction, reducing other rates and other “direct” benefits.

Thirteen Democrats joined 45 Republicans opposing a proposal offered by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-R.I.),  including some Democrats facing reelection in 2014 such as Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Mark Warner (Va.).

On climate, the White House has said it will not propose a carbon tax to Congress.

And President Obama has vowed to take stronger steps to battle global warming using his executive powers if Congress remains gridlocked on climate change.