Maine Becomes The Most Recent Blue State To Reject A Carbon Tax

From Forbes

Patrick Gleason 

AUGUSTA, Maine — The beginning of March brings bad news for carbon tax supporters, who have been successful in getting legislation to impose the regressive tax introduced at the federal and state levels, but not in getting it enacted, not even in left-leaning, Democratic-run states that should be most inclined to welcome this policy.

A February 28 Maine House Committee on Energy Utilities and Technology hearing on legislation that would impose the nation’s first statewide carbon tax ended with Representative Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery), the legislator sponsoring the bill, announcing that he will pull his proposal and will instead push for a “Carbon Pricing Study Group” that will explore the topic and issue recommendations at a later date. The committee subsequently voted on March 7 against reporting Rykerson’s carbon tax bill out of committee.

In the hours-long hearing on Representative Rykerson’s bill, 60 Maine residents testified in opposition to the proposed carbon tax, explaining the harm that the regressive tax would do to Maine families and employers. Only one person testified in favor of the bill. This strong display of public opposition to a carbon tax was instrumental in killing the bill in committee.

By reacting early to raise awareness about the destructive carbon tax that was being proposed and exposing the corrupt kickbacks and special interests it was going to be paying for, we were able to gather men and women of all ages from every corner of the state to march on the capital and send a clear message to lawmakers that the people of Maine stand united against new and useless taxes the would have crushed both Maine’s economy as well as our middle and low income families,” says Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro, explaining how opponents of the carbon tax managed to come out victorious despite every branch of state government being under Democratic control.

Because there is “gridlock at the federal level,” writes Governing Magazine’s Elizabeth Daigneau, “activists are focusing their attention on states and cities where action on climate change seems more likely.”

Though green activists are taking their proposals for new taxes and regulations to the state level, they have been unable to get a carbon tax enacted, even in state legislatures where progressives hold the most sway. Maine becomes the most recent blue state to reject a carbon tax. Legislation to impose a carbon tax has also been introduced in Vermont, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Oregon, and other states, but all have declined to implement one. Americans for Tax Reform has put together a timeline of all the carbon tax proposals that have been rejected both in the U.S. and abroad.

Read the full article here.

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52 thoughts on “Maine Becomes The Most Recent Blue State To Reject A Carbon Tax

  1. A glimmer of hope, perhaps, that common sense may yet reign?

    But I suspect the radical left will keep hammering away until they reach their goal of destroying every vestige of a free market society.

    • That blue states like WA and ME have rejected a “carbon” [sic] tax is very encouraging. It suggests that sites like WUWT are having an effect. Let’s never let up.

    • They’ll keep trying. For example, Washington state’s rejected it on a ballot measure in 2016 and again when it failed as a bill in the state senate in 2018.

      Every time they fail, they try again and will continue trying again until they succeed or until the whole CAGW scam comes crumbling down. Should the later happen first, they’ll just repackage the scam into something else to fleece the taxpayers with and try again. It’s what they do and it’s why eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

      • Somehow we thought or were led to believe that socialism/ communism died everywhere with the supposed collapse of the USSR. Why we bought into that idea as a society is beyond me. Socialists existed before and after the USSR. Russian leadership today is using their old connections with fellow travelers and useful idiots to spread discord. Like radical Islamists devout socialists are very patient. CAGW they see as a path to their fantasy of a worker’s paradise for the entire world. We have had UN high bureaucrat say as much. I am not sure how to stamp out socialism. One thing for certain it must start at the taxpayers funding universities by requiring them to teach the horrors of socialisms.

          • Sounds like the EU’s version of democracy where you let people vote on things time after time till they vote for what you want at which point it is the right outcome till then “they don’t understand enough to vote correctly”.
            This has just been put on the back burner till the right people can be found to push it through.

            James Bull

      • Washington State politicians tend never to use the simple word “tax” nor advocate for such a thing. Texts and images of them doing so will be used against them in the next election cycle.
        The words “fee” and “fees” are much preferred; such as license plate fees. At one time these fees amounted to several hundred dollars, and where that money went was a mystery to most citizens of the State. Some went to school districts.
        Today, one has to “opt out” of a $30 fee to support State Parks.

        Sometimes the wording is interesting, as in “carbon pollution tax”, so the arguments are directed away from Carbon-dioxide, and toward taxing a pollutant. Also from the Senate Bill 5127 (2017), there is this:
        The legislature further finds the revenue generated by the carbon pollution tax will enable the state to increase funding for K-12 education and other vital public services while also making critical investments in the state’s water infrastructure, forest health, and energy systems.

        . . . followed by this:
        additional investments in low-income support programs, workforce transition, and …

        Simply put – the government wants money.

        The effect of any of these bills, if passed, on the CO2 in the atmosphere and on Earth’s climates will never be distinguishable from Zero.

    • Actually a carbon tax is by far the best way and by far the most free market way to tackle climate change. I’m not saying climate change is a real problem, but if we have lost that battle, then a carbon tax is far and away the best solution. Note that a real carbon tax is revenue-neutral – other taxes should be cut so that people pay the same in total tax.

      What a carbon tax does is to say that markets can find the solution, not centralised decision-making using subsidies. People on the Right really should accept a properly-priced carbon tax as the least worst way governments can react to Alarmism.

      • Actually a carbon tax is by far the best way and by far the most free market way to tackle climate change

        Government interference (in this case a tax) is the very opposite of a free market.

      • Ignoring, once again, the Mammoth in the room – THERE’S NOTHING TO “TACKLE.” “Tackling” climate change will be as useless as “tackling” the tides. It is all economic pain for no environmental gain. There remains NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE THAT CO2 DRIVES TEMPERATURE. So “taxing” CO2 emissions in order to discourage them will have NO effect on the “climate” that you can measure. And the idea that such a tax will or could be “revenue neutral” in terms of “total tax” paid is NONSENSE. A tax on CO2 emissions raises the price of EVERYTHING.

      • by far the most free market way to tackle climate change
        ==========
        Making a free market from a tax is like screwing for virginity.

        There is no “carbon free” gasoline at the pump. Thus there is no market.

        And forget electric cars. Electricity is not a fuel, it is a delivery mechanism. You still need to generate the electricity.

        And then there are batteries. For the cost of an EV battery you can buy energy equivalent gasoline for the life of the vehicle.

        Which is why EVs cost more. You are paying for the energy eqivalent of a lifetime supply of gasoline to manufacture the battery. Before you buy the electricity to charge the battery. Or the gas taxes that will need to be applied to EVs.

      • “other taxes should be cut so that people pay the same in total tax. “

        Phoenix,
        Thanks for the belly laugh.
        This is a carbon tax from Progressive Democrats we’re talking about, not economists. These are not people who understand how to grow an economy. For Progressives, economics is a zero-sum game – You have something they want, they take it if they can.
        With Democrats, it’s “There’s Never Enough of OPM” to be re-distributed to buy votes.

  2. A carbon tax is the most hideous form of taxation there is. When you charge hospitals and schools a carbon tax to heat and cool their premises, it is just a transfer tax onto things like property taxes that consumers pay the final inflated bill for. Same for simple necessary things like groceries and basic goods and services for essential living…it just introduces inflation into the economy when it is not needed. And it affects the poor the most, since their disposable income is spent on essential living. It is really just a tax on the poor and the middle class who cannot afford this stupidity.

    The final nail in the coffin for this tax, notwithstanding the broad based tax on everything that causes wide spread inflation, is it allows the receiving gov’t to dump most of it into general revenue and then use those funds to ‘buy’ the vote the next election. The last reason why this tax is regressive and harmful is the whole climate change bull crap that it is supposed to prevent global warming. A tax to change the climate…well that should just about say everything about this special kind of stupidity. That people in the USA won’t approve of this evil tax is not surprising, and hopefully none ever will approve.

    • Earthling2

      ‘A tax to change the climate…well that should just about say everything about this special kind of stupidity’

      That is the best one-liner on this insane subject that I have come across – Swiftian in brevity and pungency. Nice one.

      • No, a carbon tax is a tax to make sure we pay the full cost of what we are doing. No right wing, free market supporter should complain about that. You can argue about whether CO2 produces external costs and if so how much, but the point of a carbon tax is solidly right wing.

        • No, a carbon tax is a tax to make sure we pay the full cost of what we are doing.

          Bullshit. Pure BS. The market already decides what the full cost is (based on *both* the positives and the negatives associated with what we do. Not just focusing on the negatives).

          No right wing, free market supporter should complain about that

          Every free market supporter should complain about government interference in the market as that is what a carbon tax is. interference pure and simple.

          the point of a carbon tax is solidly right wing.

          Bullshit from left-wing idiots that wouldn’t know what a right wing idea was if it bit them in the ass.

          • LOL well said. And the usual projection on Phoenix44’s part. “Carbon taxes” are “right wing?!” LMFAO

          • You can’t reason with an indoctrinated acolyte of Marxist dribble. Whatever happened to ‘don’t feed the troll?’

          • Seth, you assume the replies are for Pheonix44’s benefit. They’re not, they’re for the benefit of anyone who reads the thread. Lies and ignorance need to be countered (even when it’s clear the ignorant liar won’t learn a thing) so that other people who happen to read the ignorant lies can be informed of the truth.

        • The right wing solution is to first determine that there is a problem, before designing the solution to that problem.

        • “Pay the full cost” to who?

          Why not pay it to me? I think the Carbon Tax should be collected “to make sure we pay the full cost of what we are doing.” and the money deposited in my bank account. I’ll make sure it is properly spent. Trust me.

          Phoenix44, you are a barrel of laughs, straight out of the Ocasio-Cortez School of Applied Economic Theory.

          • Joel, I’m not sure whom should be more insulted by that comparison, Phoenix44 or AOC? That alone speaks volumes about how bat-crap crazy Phoenix44 postings are.

        • Phoenix44 , that’s got to be one of the most disconnected things I’ve read in a long time.

          A tax to make sure we pay the full cost? Are you for real? The costs already exist, and are already taken care of. How is adding more cost just for the heck of it making sure of anything?

          The two subjects are not connected in any way. Tax is not connected to climate. Not in the slightest. Doing one has zero impact on the other. Your excuse is nothing but a Social Justice excuse, which is a contrived excuse at best with no foundation in subjectivity.

    • No, all of that is false. Everybody is already paying more for energy because of Green taxes and Green subsidies. That is a terrible way to deal with CO2 because it is the government mandating the best way to reduce CO2, rather than having the market properly price emissions through a carbon tax. A carbon tax encourages innovation and new technologies and market-led solutions.

      And note that a carbon tax should be revenue-neutral – taxes elsewhere should be cut so that nobody is worse off financially. The point is to make the cost of fossil fuels “complete” by including externalities, not to raise money.

      • No, all of that is false.

        Wrong.

        Everybody is already paying more for energy because of Green taxes and Green subsidies

        Yes, and adding one more is just as bad an idea

        That is a terrible way to deal with CO2 because it is the government mandating the best way to reduce CO2

        As would be a “carbon tax” any time the government steps into the market place, the market is less free, not more.

        A carbon tax encourages innovation and new technologies and market-led solutions.

        No, it doesn’t. It just artificially inflates the cost of otherwise viable energy sources to make less viable source look usable.

        And note that a carbon tax should be revenue-neutral – taxes elsewhere should be cut so that nobody is worse off financially

        Bwahahahahha. Oh, your serious. Oh my. You clearly don’t know how governments work.

        The point is to make the cost of fossil fuels “complete” by including externalities, not to raise money.

        No, the point is to artificially make the cost of fossil fuels “uncompetitive” by making them expensive so that the real uncompetitive fuels look viable.

        • Not to mention that the supposed “externalities” don’t exist according to one scrap of empirical evidence.

          “Climate Change” (TM) is an imaginary problem that they are trying to “sell” an imaginary “solution” for.

          • … in order to increase government revenue by fleecing the sheeple.

            AGW, I figured you just accidently hit “Post Comment” while reaching for another sip of coffee and didn’t complete your sentence.
            ;o)

      • You need to set aside the bong for a few days, Phoenix44. No tax ever imposed is “revenue neutral”. They hooked you with a lie, in the form of grape KoolAid, and you lap it up.

        • Reminds me of when I lived in Wisconsin. They raised the sales tax by a percent to allow relief for property taxes. Money from increased sales taxes were distributed to the local districts and our property taxes were cut that same year. 2 years later, our property taxes were right back to where they started after our local government enacted 2 rate increases.

  3. First rule of politics , get elected
    Second rule of politics . stay elected
    Ideas that undermine these rules are ideas that no politician will support beyond a few words.

  4. As every engineer knows, the devil is in the details. Now that people are pushing forward with the idiocy of “carbon” taxes in the US, those details are coming to light, and they are quite ugly. Like the dog that finally latches onto the car bumper, proponents are beginning to realize that it might not have been such a good idea after all.

  5. Even if you give full benefit to the assumption that the mainstream theory of man-made climate change is right, taking action in a single state wouldn’t make a meaningful difference – even if that state is California – yet dems will still try to pass such legislation. However, they don’t do this in other areas. For example, a dem that would gladly vote to enact legislation to reduce CO2 emissions at the state level would never try to pass legislation requiring their state to pay higher Federal income taxes in isolation of the other 49 states, and the reason they would give would be the same as when asked why they themselves don’t voluntarily pay at the higher rates they espouse – that doing so wouldn’t make a difference. Do they get bonus points for virtue signaling on climate change as compared to other liberal agenda items?

  6. It’s all about tax……

    Governments worldwide have run into the reality of the Laffer Curve and raising conventional taxation often causes revenues to fall so they are looking for “new” sources of tax revenue – there is no such thing of course – it’s just you or me (as always) – but that won’t stop them trying.

    What they have come up with is “virtuous taxation” – that is taxation that is in pursuit of a just cause or for your own good.

    Taxes such as :-

    Sugar tax.
    Salt tax.
    CO2 tax – Carbon Tax.
    Plastic Bag tax.

    All of which masquerade behind a justifiably “good” intent. (You will note that they never explain how the tax is to be spent to tackle the problem or what it will accomplish in reality.)

    Other forms of stealth taxation which might not at first appear obvious :-

    Taxation on fuels.
    Toll Roads (we all benefit from roads but the “user pays” idea is just a fig-leaf to justify such a “tax”).
    Congestion tax.
    Speeding Fines (again a fig-leaf – it’s mostly aimed at revenue generation rather than road safety. Presumably this is why the French “yellow vests” have targeted speed cameras – they recognise them as a form of taxation.)

    So finally we come to how this all fits in with global warming scaremongering.

    Never in human history have we had the general population clamouring to be taxed – in most cases they actually want someone else to be taxed – but it’s just you and me again !

    This is heaven sent opportunity for politicians for two reasons :-

    Firstly it provides a rationale for additional taxation.
    Secondly it simultaneously calls for the taxpayers to reduce their consumption.

    This second point is important as it simultaneously provide a mechanism to extract tax without the taxpayer noting his decline in living standards – because he voluntarily reduced his living standards along with the increased taxation to signal his virtue to all and sundry.

    If you think I’m being cynical think just how cynical is the financial exploitation of the population by money grubbing politicians – all on the basis of scientific nonsense.

    This is the “why” of the near wholesale political support of this nonsense.

    • “Taxes such as :-

      Sugar tax.
      Salt tax.
      CO2 tax – Carbon Tax.
      Plastic Bag tax.

      All of which masquerade behind a justifiably “good” intent. (You will note that they never explain how the tax is to be spent to tackle the problem or what it will accomplish in reality.)”

      In theory the idea is that if something is expensive, you’ll CHOOSE not to do it. Cigarette taxes… did anyone give up cigarettes because of obscene taxes? nope… they just helped to further impoverish people that won’t give it up. If smoking is on the decrease it’s because of changes in the collective consciousness about health, etc, not because of punishing tax rates.

      Is a sugar tax going to make me decide not to order desert? No, if I decide I want desert I’ll order desert and pay the damned tax.

      Is a carbon tax going to mean people stop driving cars and SUVs? Nope… look at the number of people already driving SUVs instead of more fuel-efficient vehicles. They’ll pay the premium to get what they want.

      The only effect is to make people poorer and enrich the government, and that’s fine by them…

  7. I propose an individual Politician Tax.

    – 10% of all income from any source (including campaign funds and bribes) received during the first year in elected office.

    – Rises by 10% with each succeeding year in office.

    – No cap on the maximum rate.

    – All revenue to be applied against outstanding debt of the particular level of government (local, state, federal) of the officeholder.

    • Now that is a tax I could support, Gary. +Like!+

      Politician:
      1st year: “Hey. Only 10% tax! Good deal.”
      2nd year: “20%? Not so shabby”
      3rd year: “Hmmm.. 30% is not looking so good”
      4th year: “This 40% has me thinking I should be getting out of here.”
      5th year: ” Remind me again why I’m running.”
      6th year: “Reelect ME! I’m stupid enough to pay a 60% tax.”
      7th year: “Now you know I’m on a cash take.”
      8th year: “The voters must think I’m highly principled.”
      9th year: “But I’m not.”
      10th year: “100% tax and nobody has figured out how I’m doing it; haven’t caught me yet.”

    • Actually they don’t give a hoot about saving the world (if they really believed their nonsense, they’d be focusing on China and India where “carbon emissions” are greatly increasing, not the US where such emissions have been decreasing). They just want your money and control over your life..

      • They are shallow thinkers. They couldn’t find those two places on a map, let alone understand what the problem is with them.

        There solutions to all problems are always the same. They clearly can’t think clearly enough to articulate the problem, let alone how their solution will solve said problem.

  8. Politicians to citizens – you are not behaving properly. We need to convince you to change.

    Is this why governments are instituted among men?

  9. The damn timeline link in the article leads to one of those websites that tries to trap you there by disabling your browser “back” arrow. I positively curse such websites. The idiocy of website design, thus, continues with the idiocy of climate alarmism.

  10. Everyone wants to save the world until they are asked to pay for the effort. As long as it’s “free” they are on board. Once it impacts them directly ….. in any way …. they want answers. We are in the wanting answers stage. Burning down the village to save it is not an acceptable answer.

  11. Maine isn’t a blue state – it is a purple state.

    Its two Senators are a Republican and an Independent. Its four Congressmen are two Dems and two Republicans. They have a Dem governor now, but the previous governor was a Republican. Pretty evenly matched.

    Blue or red, carbon taxes are not popular with most voters.

  12. Only a fool would be against all taxes, we need or one would say “Demand”
    services, Defence, Police, fire brigade, Health etc. Its what are we being
    taxed for which concerns us.

    This is where it gets complicated, as we all have our pet “Causes”, and we
    will fight for ours over the other so called “Causes.”.

    In a “Honest” system we would have just the one tax, but the amount asked
    for would so shock the average person that they would vote out that particular
    bunch of scoundrels and vote in a new lot.

    So what do we get, the Salami solution, a slice by slice, or a small bit here,
    and a small bit there. The idea being that we will not really notice that
    overall its still a very large amount of our money which is being taken from us, mostly for thing that we do not approve of.

    This is where items such as the “Carbon” tax. come in. Its all about
    presentation, “Yes we all want to live in a better World, and wish that our
    children can enjoy life as we ourselves did, but talk is cheap.
    But when things are properly explained, a seldom thing in today’s World
    , we soon wake up to the effect such things will have on us, and the old “Hip pocket nerve” starts twitching.

    Hence the Climate change Carbon pollution cause does not go down too well.

    MJE

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