The problem is NOT that, though republicans use it as a crutch.
The REAL problem is that the Liberals are making a HORRIBLE mistake with this and refuse to come up with NEW ideas on how to solve this. And CO2 and other GHG will continue. Heck, even Europe is backing off because they have found that they can NOT compete against other nations that are NOT taking the economic hit.
Assume that USA takes the economic hit. Then what will happen is that China, India, Russia, South Africa, etc. will build up coal plants WITHOUT pollution control as quickly as possibly. Why? To capture more manufacturing and other items from USA.
So, what is a REAL SOLUTION? Involve ALL nations (and states ) at the same time.
For America, we need 2 things ASAP:
1) require all new buildings under 4 stories to have unsubsidized on-site AE to provide energy equal to 95% or more of their HVAC. Why do this? Because it will encourage builders to NOT put up loads of solar, but to instead, look for alternatives such as better insulation, aerogel windows, geo-thermal HVAC, etc.
2) put a tax on ALL goods based on which nations/state they come from and the CO2 emissions. But several things about this:
a) none of this guess work. We need it based on OCO2, which will measure directly. Greenies are in for a REAL shocker. Their beliefs about America's emissions are probably close since we do direct measurements, but China is way too low. In addition, it does not matter the source. Just co2(out) - co2(in).
b) this needs to be normalized, but not based on per capita. It needs to be on tonnes / $ of actual GDP (not GDP-ppp). The truth is, that the vast majority of emissions is not tied to ppl, but to business.
c) it needs to start low and increase. If you want your product to be an exception to the tax, then you will say where components come from and then the tax is lowered based on the location being more efficient. As such, goods from China would have the max tax on it.
America's own goods would then have average tax, but dropping.
Likewise, goods from Sweden would have a low tax.
Here is some data for the later:
This is wiki, but it is based on 2006 data.
Here is 2009 data, but it is ppp GDP (which rewards nations for manipulating their money against the dollar; hence why it has to be real $GDP ).
With the above approaches, it would put ALL nations/states on the same footing. If they want to sell here without a tax, they need to drop their emissions. And by spending a bit of money cleaning up, it rewards a nation by paying lower taxes.
If you liberals and Europeans REALLY want to make a difference, then you will change tactics.
First and foremost is to get rid of this idea that emissions is tied to ppl. It is not. It is tied to rapid expansion of GDP. As such, you want to tackle the CO2/GDP. From another posting elsewhere:
BTW, There is a much better solution for all of this.
We should simply require a tax on all goods, local and imported (save maybe unprocessed food) that slowly raises over time. It should be tied to the components in the goods and the CO2 from where they come from. This needs to be normalized, but not on CO2 per capita, but on CO2 per GDP.
The best argument for this is China. They have had a large population, but their Co2 emissions have gone up with their GDP. The same is true all over.
In addition, it needs to be GDP, not GDP PPP, which rewards nations cheating.
Right now, our CO2 / nation is based on measurements in the west, and lots of guess work elsewhere, esp. China. That is the WRONG way to do things.
Instead, we have the OCO2 going up next year. It will measure the CO2 directly. It will not know that source, which is great. All that matters is that CO2 increases as it leaves your borders from what it was coming in.
If we do this, then EVERY nation/state has to make decisions on how best to drop their CO2. For some, it might be increasing their ag and forests. For others such as China and America, it would be solving our Coal/Cement issue.
Regardless, this is about the only way to solve this issue