The Case for Carbon Dividends by James K. Boyce

The Case for Carbon Dividends by James K. Boyce

Author:James K. Boyce
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781509526581
Publisher: Wiley
Published: 2019-08-01T00:00:00+00:00

The answer, of course, is that they would go up. Perhaps prices would not rise as much as in 1979–80, or perhaps they would rise even more, especially if the shutdown led to fear that other countries will follow suit. The increase in the price of crude oil would be passed on in higher prices for transportation fuels, heating oil, and all goods and services that use oil in their production and distribution, just as in the case of carbon pricing.

In this case, where would the money – the extra money paid by consumers – ultimately go? It would flow to the oil producers who do not keep their oil in the soil. The biggest beneficiaries would be oil companies in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States, the world’s top three producers. As the price of oil rises, their profit margins would climb. The net result would be a transfer of money – lots of it – from consumers to some of the richest and most powerful corporations in the world, among them some of the most stubborn opponents of fair and effective climate policies. Oops.

The “just say no” strategy would be effective in reducing emissions, at least until other countries stepped up production to fill the gap in response to rising prices. Likewise, the 1973 oil shock has been credited with giving the world a head start in the fight against climate change.3 But in terms of who pockets the money from higher fuel prices, few would call the outcome fair.


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