Hawaiian residents will suffer greatly from new ‘climate saving’ carbon taxes

A proposed $80 per ton Carbon-Dioxide and Gas Tax Would Be a Big Burden for Hawaii Families and Businesses

Guest analysis by Tim Benson [see update at the end]

Companion legislation introduced in the Hawaii State Legislature would establish a carbon-dioxide tax on all fossil fuels emitted or sold by distributors in the Aloha State. The tax would begin at $40 per ton in 2021, incrementally rising to $80 per ton in 2030.

The legislation also includes a “state environmental response, energy, carbon emissions, and food security tax” that would be charged “on each barrel or fractional part of a barrel of petroleum product sold by a distributor to any retail dealer or end user of petroleum product, other than a refiner.” This tax would also incrementally increase through 2030. For example, the tax on gasoline would begin at $8.22 per barrel in 2021 and top out at $23.16 in 2030, while diesel fuel would begin at $10.35 per barrel in 2021 and run to $26.34 in 2030. (Propane and butane would go from $10.47 to $20.94, kerosene from $16.38 to $32.76, jet fuel from $16.07 to $32.15, and aviation gas from $14.03 to $28.07, respectively.)

Included in the carbon-dioxide tax portion of the bill is a tax credit intended to “mitigate the effect of a … tax on lower income taxpayers.” Single tax filers making less than $20,000 a year would receive a $250 tax credit while married filers in the same bracket would receive $500. These credits would gradually decrease the further up you go on the income ladder. The smallest credit would be $50 for single filers earning $50,000 to $60,000 a year and $100 for married filers making $60,000 to $75,000.

These credits are necessary because carbon-dioxide taxes are inherently regressive and disproportionally harm low-income families. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found a $28-per-ton carbon tax would result in energy costs being 250 percent higher for the poorest one-fifth of households than the richest one-fifth of households.

CBO reports the reason for cost discrepancy is “a carbon tax would increase the prices of fossil fuels in direct proportion to their carbon content. Higher fuel prices, in turn, would raise production costs and ultimately drive up prices for goods and services throughout the economy … Low-income households spend a larger share of their income on goods and services whose prices would increase the most, such as electricity and transportation.”

2013 report by the National Association of Manufacturers estimates a $20-per-ton carbon-dioxide tax in Hawaii would result in a 5.3 percent increase in household electricity rates. Additionally, the tax would raise gasoline prices by more than 20 cents per gallon in just the first year alone. In July 2012, Australia established a nation-wide carbon-dioxide tax set at $23 (Australian dollars) per ton and repealed it just two years later after it produced the highest quarterly increase in household electricity prices in the country’s history.

One other substantial problem with the carbon-dioxide tax is that it would produce an insignificant environmental benefit, as a country-wide carbon tax that completely reduces U.S. emissions to zero by 2050 would only avert global temperature by just 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. A state-based carbon dioxide tax would have even less impact on global temperature. As Oren Cass, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, noted in National Affairs, “The effectiveness of a carbon tax as a matter of environmental policy [depends] not only on how it would directly alter the trajectory of [local] emissions but also on its ability to affect global emissions by driving globally applicable technological innovation or by influencing the behavior of foreign governments,” wrote Cass. “On each of these dimensions, the carbon tax fails.”

At 29.18 cents per kilowatt hour, retail electricity prices in Hawaii are already 178 percent higher than the national average and are by far the highest of any state in the country. Therefore, Hawaii legislators should refrain from taking any action that would increase these costs, especially when Hawaii’s overall tax climate is already relative heavy. A carbon-dioxide tax would make everything more expensive for working families in Hawaii, drive up costs for businesses, and have an insignificant effect on global carbon dioxide emissions.

Tim Benson is a policy analyst in the Government Relations Department at The Heartland Institute based in Chicago.

Nothing in this Research & Commentary is intended to influence the passage of legislation, and it does not necessarily represent the views of The Heartland Institute. For further information on this subject, visit Environment & Climate News, The Heartland Institute’s website, and PolicyBot, Heartland’s free online research database.

[UPDATE by Willis] I trust that Tim won’t mind if I add a few facts to his most excellent analysis.

Here’s how this farrago works out for the poor shlubs in Hawaii.

The per-barrel gasoline tax plus the per-ton CO2 tax adds up to a tax of $0.57 per gallon on day one, increasing to $1.29 per gallon by 2030. And that’s on top of a current gas price of $4.00 per gallon …

Average miles driven in Hawaii is less than on the mainland, at 11,100 miles/year. The average MPG for cars on the road is about 16 MPG.

This means the average car in Hawaii will use 694 gallons per year. So the first year the gasoline tax will be $395, increasing to $894 per year in 2030.

Next, the per-ton carbon tax is going to increase electricity prices by 10.6% in year one, going up to 21.2% in 2030. The average monthly electric bill in Hawaii is $203. So in year one, the electricity tax will be $258, increasing to $516 in 2030.

So all up, between gasoline and electricity, a single person owning a car will pay on the order of $654 more in year one, rising to $1,411 in 2030.

And to offset that … they are offering a $250 tax rebate to people making less than $20,000. Of course, at the Hawaiian minimum wage ($10.10/hr) on a full-time job you make $20,200, so most of the poor folks will pay the $654 and get $200 back.

And the median income for a single person in Hawaii is $63,137 … which means that they would pay the full tax and get nothing back.

The median income for a renter in Hawaii is $32,000 per year … so they’d pay $654 and get $150 back.

Finally, what good will all of this virtue signaling do? Well … likely none. Consider the following:

In the study, Espey examined 101 different studies and found that in the short-run (defined as 1 year or less), the average price-elasticity of demand for gasoline is -0.26. That is, a 10% hike in the price of gasoline lowers quantity demanded by 2.6%.

However, folks in Hawaii already drive less, so more of their driving is not optional. Let’s say miles driven goes down by 2.5% per 10% increase in gasoline price. So the tax might, and I emphasize might, reduce miles driven by 4% in year one, rising to 8% by 2030. And this, in turn, would reduce US CO2 emissions by 0.003% in year 1, and 0.006% in 2030.

Three to six-thousandths of one measly percent of US CO2 emissions … be still, my beating heart …

In other words, it’s just a money-grabbing feel-good gimmick by the State of Hawaii.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming …


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
February 14, 2020 10:29 pm

This tax has no other useful function other than to make people poorer, less healthy and more disadvantaged.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 15, 2020 3:06 am

And make government/Big Brother even bigger and more powerful. But it seems people love to be slaves.

Reply to  Robertvd
February 15, 2020 4:59 pm

“But it seems people love to be slaves.” There is an awful lot of evidence to support that statement. There are also quite a few people who are willing to be the slave masters. They’re called politicians.

Bill Powers
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 15, 2020 4:37 am

Also necessary to keep in mind, is the inflationary and anti-growth affect of these taxes. Forced Government increases to the cost of doing business raises prices on other goods and services. Cost of living increases to workers force labor to demand higher wages. This all leads to higher expenditures for Government which drives government to find new ways to tax the marketplace.

It would be worthwhile to research the percent of the workforce employed by the Government and then analyze their energy expenditures vs the public good by each function. Something business is forced to do to stay competitive and profitable: Management by Objectives.

What we need is to reduce the size of government and then cut their budgets. Less government workers running about means less demand for energy. We can start by reducing the number of Government paid Lawyers and Shrink the pool of politicians. Then we can lower taxes and allow the free market to grow jobs and earnings.

Know that this can all be done faster by first slaying the imaginary hobgoblin of “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warm…ahh we really meant Climate Change all along” and making it the first termination. Imagine the tax reductions.

Procyon Bearsfoot
Reply to  Bill Powers
February 15, 2020 10:34 am

“Keep a government poor and weak and it’s your servant; let it get rich and powerful and it’s your master.”
― H. Beam Piper,

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 15, 2020 4:39 am


CO2 reduction schemes such as the Green New Deal and “Carbon-free By 2050” are destructive nonsense, promoted by scoundrels and believed in by imbeciles.

The Green New Deal is essentially a suicide pact for modern society – think hard before you drink the Kool-Aid.

Regards, Allan

February 15, 2020 8:12 am

They have invested at least 30 years in raising Climate Jugend and Brownshirts who will drink the Kool-Aid.

The Great Leap Forward. They will follow the Green Book.

Reply to  Robertvd
February 15, 2020 8:25 am

I wrote:
“CO2 reduction schemes such as the Green New Deal and “Carbon-free By 2050” are destructive nonsense, promoted by scoundrels and believed in by imbeciles.
The Green New Deal is essentially a suicide pact for modern society – think hard before you drink the Kool-Aid.”

So my hypothetical question is:
If only the imbeciles in society, that is the Climate Extremists, drank the Kool-Aid, would there be a statistically significant increase in human intelligence, and by how much?

I’ll guess about 10-20 IQ points.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 15, 2020 8:35 am

IF you have to tax, tax thoughtfully.
The people at the low end(under $ 20K) ought to be able to claim a 100% credit for their fuel taxes.
To ad a modicum of fairness, at an income of $1million would get 0% credit. And of course, considering that as income increases the actual value the worker gets(you can only eat so much steak or imported wine) the tax credit would increase exponentially the tax credit would decrease exponentially, putting the
median credit somewhere around 33% at median wage and roughly 72% at $670,000.

Reply to  Philo
February 15, 2020 3:33 pm

You are a good socialist.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 15, 2020 8:46 am

Excerpted from article:

the tax on gasoline would begin at $8.22 per barrel in 2021 and top out at $23.16 in 2030, while diesel fuel would begin at $10.35 per barrel in 2021 and run to $26.34 in 2030. (……. jet fuel from $16.07 to $32.15, and aviation gas from $14.03 to $28.07, respectively.)

Cargo ships and airplanes can get to Hawaii without having to pay those increased taxes, …… but they can leave Hawaii without paying them.

Tourism will suffer the most. It will cost more to travel to and from and bout everything tourists do in Hawaii will cost more.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
February 15, 2020 9:58 am

I thought the same about flying. Willis adds that Hawaiians drive less, that’s because the place is small and they fly more. Inter-island taxis are aircraft !

Obviously this measure will do ZERO to change world climate and is just a cynical excuse to bleed every taxpayer at least an extra grand per year. Time for a “gilets jaunes” moment in Hawaii.

Reply to  Greg
February 19, 2020 6:38 pm

All tax measures that can be thought of will have zero effect on world climate. But it will change your amount of money.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 15, 2020 3:06 pm

Feature, not bug. If you get beyond the rhetoric of the Blob, the aim is to make people too poor to be able to afford recreation, vacations or basically anything people want to do for fun when not working. Most folks don’t realize it yet, but when the lefties do get power and implement these policies it will hit them hard in the pocketbook and they won’t take it lying down.

February 14, 2020 10:50 pm

You would think Hawaii would be an ideal place for renewable energy given that it has to import all its fuel making its electricity rates sky high. They’ve been trying and it’s proving to be a hard slog. link

The answer is, yes, it is possible for Hawaii to go completely renewable. The already sky high electricity rates will go even higher.

Of course, Hawaii is relatively warm and sunny. Consider the plight of those living in Canada’s arctic. Solar panels won’t work because there is either little or no sun in the winter. Even there, it would be possible to engineer a 100% reliable system using wind, nobody would be able to afford the electricity though. Oh will, folks could go back to living in igloos and tents. If you’re freezing to death, blubber tastes really good. Oh yeah, you’d have to send 9/10 of the population south because there isn’t enough hunting to provide the necessary blubber.

The message is that renewable energy would practically mean no energy for some people. It would knock them back to the stone age … but that was idyllic, right?

Reply to  commieBob
February 14, 2020 10:53 pm

Oh will, folks
Oh well, folks

Reply to  commieBob
February 15, 2020 1:10 am

Living in Calgary, I notice that wind power generation drops down to 1 to 3% of installed capacity when it is very cold.

Wonder how many batteries I would need to provide electricity during a one week cold spell?

I remember cold spells lasting a lot longer than one week.

Perhaps we could all burn wood to heat our houses when it’s cold. After we use up all the trees for fuel we could use… coal (Alberta has lots of it). Haven’t we played this song before?

Reply to  joe
February 15, 2020 3:15 am

If you vote the wrong people into power you will become a 3rd world country. Progressives just hate prosper societies. Free stuff comes with a price, slavery.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  joe
February 15, 2020 6:18 am

Two days ago we in Waterloo woke up to -21 C and it was really still. Have a look:


The green line on the bottom is “Wind”. Note the misleading chart that says the “Wind capacity” is 10% of the whole. So what?

It is not 10% of generation save on rare occasion. Yippy-do. Note that solar is so small it can’t be shown. Hydro output is running 1.5 x demand (they sell the rest). You think there’s a lesson in there somewhere?

Reply to  joe
February 15, 2020 7:59 am

Wonder how many batteries I would need to provide electricity during a one week cold spell?

I use around 25 kwh/day. A trolling* battery for a boat is 12 volts and about 100 amp hours. For ease of arithmetic, that’s about 1 kwh. So, you’d need 25 of those to store one day’s supply. For a comfortable week’s worth, that’s about 200 batteries. Each battery is about a hundred bucks. So, for a mere $20,000 you can go down to your local Canadian Tire store and get enough batteries to power your house for a week. Of course, I am being conservative ’cause good engineering is conservative engineering don’t ya know. My WAG is that you could do it for half that price if you tried a bit.

Reply to  commieBob
February 15, 2020 8:43 am

Bob, don’t forget you can only use about 50% of capacity on lead acid batteries without shortening the life, so double the number of batteries per day. A quick search found the cheepest battery online at US $132.98 before shipping.

You can use about 95% of Lithium batteries but they cost around US $650 for 100 ah. Much more expensive. I am thinking of using them in my 5th wheel for ease of placement, no need for ventilation like lead acid, and they are lighter.

Canada Tire at 105 ah, CD 169.99 + $20 core charge, so 3+ times the $20,000 per day for cost and capacity, makes it even more crazy.

Reply to  commieBob
February 15, 2020 9:00 am

Lead Acid batteries have a life so you will be re-upping every 4-5 years depending on charge/recharge.

John in Oz
Reply to  commieBob
February 15, 2020 2:13 pm

You will also need to generate more than 25KWh a day to maintain the charge for later use or to recharge after use.

After a cold spell and the charge is lowered through use, hope that there is sufficient good weather to allow recharging in preparation for another long, cold spell as well as run your house during that recharge period.

Here’s an idea – let’s build a thumping big generator that can supply sufficient, reliable power to many households so that they do not have to juggle their own generation, batteries, etc.

Reply to  John in Oz
February 16, 2020 5:50 pm

John in Oz,

Will that be diesel, gas, coal or nuc… NO not nuc… in Oz = go wash your mouth out you nasty little realist!

Otto Støver
Reply to  commieBob
February 15, 2020 3:47 am

Hawaii is a rather big island, lots of people also. In Europe the EU has tried to make a small Canary island called El Hierro the forst total renewable society. They have spent several millions of euros on the 10 000 inhabitants by erecting windmills, solar panel and a hydro “battery”. They pump up water to a dam when they have too much electricity, and let the water out through a water turbine when they have too little.

The last report I saw was that they had set a new record of more than 20 days just using green energies. But on the yearly average they use their diesel generators about 50%. Remember that this is an island on the west side of Africa. It is stable sun ever day, and El Hierro also has stable wind conditions. Even on this, the best place in Europe, are the “green” energies sun and wind unable to provide a small society with enough electricity. To think that less ideal conditions and large cities should be able to do that is insane

February 14, 2020 11:03 pm

It’s bad enough that the demonization of carbon is stupidly misguided. But worse, it’s not only unnecessary, it’s utterly wasteful and harmful. And harmful to the most vulnerable.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Richard
February 15, 2020 6:02 am

That’s the best, short criticism of a carbon dioxide tax I have seen so far. Short and to the point and right on point.

Carbon dioxide taxes harm society. They take money out of everyone’s pocket to fight an imaginary human-caused climate change problem. CO2 is not a problem and it should not be taxed.

We can see why leftwing politicians (and some rightwing) like the carbon dioxide tax. More money, more money, more money! Just think how much fun they will have spending all that new money. A politician’s dream come true.

Raising energy prices is the last thing a competent politician should want to do and that’s just what a tax on carbon dioxide would do.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 15, 2020 9:00 am

I would have no problem with a carbon tax as an indirect tax if all direct taxes would be eliminated. It are direct taxes like the income tax that take your freedom away. Government needs money and Big Government needs even more money. The more free stuff we want the more taxes have to be raised the bigger government will have to grow the more taxes have to be raised.

John in Oz
Reply to  Richard
February 15, 2020 2:31 pm

It is also harmful in that the intended aim is to reduce fossil-fuel use as they believe this is the only cause of climate change.

They are not building resilience to natural climate change in order to protect the populace from storms, droughts, floods, etc as they seem to think that, once we remove the anthropogenic contribution to CO2, that these events will no longer occur.

February 14, 2020 11:12 pm

Hawaii’s state power system relies on very large Gas turbine engines to provide for the swinging power demands during a 24 hour period. These turbines are the source for 90% of the main supply and can deliver this without the interruptions that come from the renewable sources like the many windmills that have been erected over the last 10 years. The use of Solar was quite the NEW thing during the second Obama term and many buildings installed large Solar collectors and limited battery storage in a bid to become Green and renewable supplied. So if the wind is not blowing in sufficient quantity or the sun is not shining then the power production falls back to those dastardly fossil fuel burning Gas turbines.

The Hawaii power utilities are using these gas turbines in the least efficient operating mode to try and save costs on fuel. These large units are using distillate fossil fuels instead of Natural Gas because there is NO natural gas in Hawaii. Most of these 100 MW units are started on #2 diesel then when they are warmed up they are switched to burn Bunker fuel. On a good day you can see the grey plumes coming from these units stacks that are their trade mark of burning heavy fuel. To save money these thirsty turbines burn a LOT of bunker fuel in a day but it comes at a cost. When heavy fuels or diesel are used the maximum output of the turbine drops off sometimes it can be as low as 92% of nameplate output. As it stands a lot of the islands are now reaching their limit of power production from the existing units. When the wind stops and the sun goes down there are cases where these turbines can not supply the peak demand and blackouts or brown outs are becoming more common in these island paradises.

Back in 2014 my company offered a solution to the Hawaiian Islands. They proposed to install LNG storage and vaporization facilities to be located at these power plants to allow for them to convert the gas turbines to burn Natural gas along with the distillate fuels. Many turbines are set up to run dual fuel and they can switch back and forth while under load with the modern control systems. One big advantage is that the turbine units can operate at name plate rating so the power company would have recovered the extra output and may have been able to reduce the brown outs and blackouts. The other big advantage to reducing distillate fuel usage is the combustor and hot section maintenance is greatly reduced which reduces down time and outages.

After the election of David Ige (Democrat) as the Hawaii state governor one of the first things he did was to cancel the tentative contract with my company for this LNG. David Ige stated at the time he was going to transition Hawaii from ALL fossil fuel use and he did not see that this initiative would support that goal. So as of today these units are still burning heavy distillate fuels and still polluting at 250 times the rate of natural gas fuel. They are also still having power demand and supply issues across the islands as the demand is still rising and no new generators other than windmills are in the plan for the future. My company did not expand our LNG facility to the original proposal and the scaled back expansion is running at full capacity. This plant is supplying our local market of 20 truck fleets and they are going to supply 7 of the local ferries this year to get them off of bunker fuel. You can not fix stupid.

Reply to  Boris
February 15, 2020 1:46 am

Interesting background, ta

Reply to  Jit
February 15, 2020 4:51 am

Boris this would great reading if you could expand your comment into a story for WUWT readers.

Reply to  Boris
February 15, 2020 3:20 am

Someone voted these people into power. There you have your stupids.

Andy Cross
Reply to  Boris
February 15, 2020 5:26 am

Does anyone look at the cyclic increase of costs when government increases costs that this multiplies out to the consumer? You have the increased costs at every stage of society which inflicts most at the lowest income levels. There is the cost to employers of ACA healthcare. I figured this move does the same with energy.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Boris
February 15, 2020 6:12 am

“So as of today these units are still burning heavy distillate fuels and still polluting at 250 times the rate of natural gas fuel.”

It appears that Governor Ige is doing just the opposite of what he should be doing. You said he was a Democrat. That explains it. Democrats seem to be oblivious to the real world.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 15, 2020 6:21 am

Speaking of Democrats being oblivious to the real world:

I saw a report yesterday about Katie Couric, a former big-shot, leftwing American news anchor, and she said she had tuned into the conservative Fox News Channel recently in an effort to see how the other side was looking at things, and she was appalled that it seemed like the conservatives were living in a completely different world than the one she lived in.

That’s right, Katie. The Left and the Right *do* live in completely different worlds. We see things completely differently when looking at the same issue.

The question is: Which worldview is correct and which worldview is incorrect. Only one worldview is the correct worldview. I would submit that the evidence is on the side of the worldview of the Right. The Left lives in a dreamworld, actually a nightmare world, that exists only in their minds. Their worldview always turns out to be wrong. It’s demonstrable.

mike macray
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 16, 2020 9:46 am

I believe it was Katie Couric commenting on the 9/11 World Trade Center attack when the second plane hit the South tower said on air “Oh My God there’s another one! there must be something wrong with Air Traffic Control….”
I rest my case

paul courtney
Reply to  Boris
February 15, 2020 12:27 pm

Boris: You can’t fix stupid, but you can save the planet! And if you’re saving the planet like Gov. Ige, virtue can produce bliss. It evidently helps one to ignore stupid.
For a while.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Boris
February 15, 2020 3:08 pm


Hawaii is indeed the best case for solar/wind power. The trade winds are fairly reliable and the Western side of the islands get a lot of sunshine (the latitude ranges from about 19°N at South Point on the big island to a little over 22°N at Princeville on Kuai). Add to that the transportation costs to get fossil fuels 2,500 miles from the nearest mainland port and it would seem wind/solar should have a natural price advantage.

Hawaii set a goal of having 100% electric generation from renewables by 2045. Here’s how they’re doing (as of October, 2019, from EIA data here):

Petroleum fuel: 73.57%
Coal-Fired: 13.45%
Hydroelectric: 0.70%
Nonhydroelectric Renewables: 12.28%

This is for a total of 855 MWh.

So with 25 years to go, Hawaii “only” has to replace 87% of their present power generation with renewables, not accounting for increases. In other words, they need to add new renewable production equal to almost 7 times what they have now.

But it’s actually much worse than we thought ®: Hawaii is broken up into multiple islands with a lot of deep ocean between them. Most of the population and the power demand are on Oahu, which lacks the available area for enough wind/solar to meet 100% of their electric needs. But there are no interconnects with other islands. The idea has been discussed as far back as 1881 between King Kalakaua and Thomas Edison, no less, but so far nothing has come of it.

The push for renewables has re-ignited the discussion about inter-island links. To meet the mandate, Oahu will have to import a substantial part of its power from other islands and the needed interconnects will add to the cost.

And finally, the odds are by 2045 almost all of the current renewable power facilities will have worn out and had to be replaced; Hawaiian salt air is hard on machinery. The original 1987 Kamoa Wind farm at South Point (big island) had a number of years limping along using salvaged parts from dead turbines to keep a declining number functioning until it was finally shut down in 2006 and replaced by a totally new farm nearby (Pakini Nui) in 2007. For a while the old towers were left standing but last time I checked (2017) they had been taken down and left to rust in a pile (not worth the transportation cost to scrap them).

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 16, 2020 8:00 pm

One thing that I noticed about the Hawaiian islands is there is little or No ferry service between them. I watched people at the Maui airport picking up their construction tools from the baggage carousels on a Monday morning and then these workers jumped in trucks and went to the construction sites. A car ferry service was tried but I had heard that the state government had shut it down and never really supported it. So basically the only way to move between the islands is by airplane. Now that is an efficient use of fossil fuels.

February 14, 2020 11:13 pm

I have no sympathy WHO voted for them? Its that simple.

Reply to  george
February 14, 2020 11:47 pm

No one voted for it. Taxation without representation.

Reply to  marlene
February 15, 2020 3:26 am

Don’t worry, the american people already are direct taxation slaves. They already gave unlimited power to those in power. Did you expect something different from the slave owner?

Reply to  george
February 15, 2020 2:04 am

maybe just slightly more than half, people make strident comments like this forgetting the other half of the population that is just tolerating democracy

February 14, 2020 11:35 pm

How much do people currently pay for a gallon of petrol or dieesl at the garage pumps in Hawaii?. Also can anyone tell me the relative wealth of local residents compared to other US states? Is it considered they would be able to afford the increases?


George Daddis
Reply to  tonyb
February 15, 2020 6:39 am

It doesn’t matter if the residents of Hawaii can afford the costs.
The article clearly shows that their contribution is insignificant to global CO2/temperatures.

Thus the only arguable rationale is that “someone has to go first” to demonstrate that forced CO2 reduction including taxes are possible, and that the “rest of the world” should follow along.

Remember, the IPCC targets are not achievable if only the developed countries stopped CO2 emissions. Therefore the logic flaw in “maybe they can afford it” is that most certainly the rest of the world’s population, including China and India, can’t!

Reply to  tonyb
February 15, 2020 8:22 am

Roughly, it’s $3.60/gallon for regular gasoline in Honolulu. It’s about $2.90 in Sacramento, CA and about $2.20 in the Denver, CO area where I am.

Using climate model logic, it ought to be about $1.50 in Washington, DC. I’ll check. Nope, it’s about $2.40/gallon in DC. The model needs some adjustments.

There are a lot of places in the U.S. now where gasoline is well under $2.00/gallon (many stations in Texas are selling regular for around $1.74/gallon), less than half of what it is in Hawaii and about a third what it is in Europe, under 0.55 Euro/L.


February 14, 2020 11:40 pm

“Companion legislation introduced in the Hawaii State Legislature would establish a carbon-dioxide tax on all fossil fuels emitted or sold by distributors in the Aloha State. The tax would begin at $40 per ton in 2021, incrementally rising to $80 per ton in 2030.”

Hawaii was not blessed with coastal ecosystem BLUE CARBON sequestration, but something magical had happened in or around the year 1900 in the little known island of Molokai when they planted mangrove just to stabilize the coastal mudflats there. As it turned out the mangrove loved Hawaii (who can blame them?) and they quickly spread across all the islands to the point of becoming a nuisance. But of course now, in the age of climate change and the magic of long term carbon sequestration by coastal ecosystems, Hawaii’s coastal mangroves offer potentially huge BLUE CARBON benefits in the carbon credits market. So perhaps the carbon tax can be offset by the value of the blue carbon in the carbon credits market.

See for example

Link to my post on blue carbon

Reply to  chaamjamal
February 15, 2020 1:41 am

Get rid of all carbon markets, CO2 does very little in raising temperatures. 20% weakening of Earth’s magnetic field and up to 35% increase in UV radiation at ground level since 1979 is the culprit. One big money making scam, are people so dumb that can’t see a correlation between UV and heat? https://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/uv-exposure.html

February 14, 2020 11:42 pm

If this isn’t the biggest rip off in 13,000 years, I don’t know what else is! Where are the protests, the massive crowds in the streets?

February 15, 2020 12:03 am

I’ve added a few facts and calculations to the head post …

Best to all,


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 15, 2020 7:02 am

“I’ve added a few facts and calculations to the head post”

Yes, you did, Willis. This article, along with your additions, is an excellent description of the situation in Hawaii and why carbon dioxide taxes are such a bad idea.

The article should be saved as a template for use when other states attempt to tax carbon dioxide. Just change the numbers around to fit the particular state.

John F. Hultquist
February 15, 2020 12:26 am

At 29.18 cents per kilowatt hour, retail electricity prices in Hawaii are already 178 percent higher than the national average and are by far the highest of any state in the country.

We live in a rural area of Washington State with electricity supplied to a Cooperative Public Utility District (PUD). We pay a monthly “facility fee” and for the electrons:
SCHEDULE 1004 – Residential and Farm Service Single phase at available secondary voltages,
normally 120/240.
Facilities Charge … $22.50/month
Charge………………….$ 0.0950/kWh

Sometimes it is a bit confusing when comparing costs from place to place.

Dave Fair
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
February 15, 2020 1:28 pm

Add up all the costs on your electric bill, divide that by the total kWh you used and you get $/kWh. Easily comparable to any costs/kWh around the world.

Beware, though, when governments subsidize wind & solar: It does not appear on the electric bill; taxpayers pay the hidden portion of the bill. This is how the activists, politicians and renewables profiteers fool the general public about the true costs of their green schemes.

February 15, 2020 1:33 am

‘The per-barrel gasoline tax plus the per-ton CO2 tax adds up to a tax of $0.57 per gallon on day one, increasing to $1.29 per gallon by 2030. And that’s on top of a current gas price of $4.00 per gallon …

Average miles driven in Hawaii is less than on the mainland, at 11,100 miles/year. The average MPG for cars on the road is about 16 MPG.’

Because of your very low energy prices the Us economy has some in built advantages over those ountries cwho tax their energy more heavily.

$4 dollars plus tax per gallon seems modest compared to much of the west and the MPG seems terrible. Typically we would expect to get 40mpg in our pretty old car and 50 or so in a newer one.

Is there any move to improving fuel efficiency instead of penalising people with higher energy costs?


Reply to  tonyb
February 15, 2020 5:51 am

The Hele station on King St in Honolulu has a cash price of $3.29/gallon for regular. In fact, gasoline is currently significantly cheaper than $4/gallon at most stations.


Stephen Richards
February 15, 2020 1:35 am

Sitting on a co² belching volcano and charging for co² emissions seems a little incongruent if not downright bloody stupid.

Reply to  Stephen Richards
February 15, 2020 5:54 am

Yes, it would seem that praying to Pele would ultimately accomplish the same thing and wouldn’t cost anything.

Jay Johnson
February 15, 2020 1:56 am

“Climate Change” is Latin for “Money and power,” and a synonym for scam.

Rod Evans
February 15, 2020 2:28 am

1 US gal = 3.8 litres
1 imperial gal= 4.55 litres.
UK fuel price for diesel currently £1.3/ltr at the pump. This would equate to a US at pump price of £5.00/gallon or $6.57/US gallon.
Despite this ridiculous price people still buy and use cars in the UK. To try and reduce the use of cars in the UK, the councils and government have introduced no parking areas everywhere and then charge high parking fees in council owned car parks, people are forced to use. This is still not enough disincentive, so the government and councils decided to stop building any new roads and allow existing roads to deteriorate into pot holes and general decay.
People continue to drive their cars.
The councils are now introducing car free town centres or areas reserved for electric vehicles only. If you drive a fossil fuel car you can enter some areas but have to pay an additional charge.
People still drive their cars.
The people in Hawaii have some way to go before they reach the kind of lunacy we Brits already have to put up with.
We still drive our cars.

(Rescued from spam bin) SUNMOD

Reply to  Rod Evans
February 15, 2020 9:12 am

Like in many other countries in the Dictatorial EUSSR. They hate it normal people can have a car.

Reply to  Rod Evans
February 15, 2020 11:59 pm

Excellent comment Rod. As fuel is at the basis of everything it is not surprising that European economies are not as vibrant as the US


February 15, 2020 2:50 am

Good point, stephen richards.

John Doran
February 15, 2020 3:35 am

The latest science shows CO2, Carbon Dioxide, is a net coolant gas, via convection.
Book: The Sky Dragon Slayers Victory Lap, by climatologist Dr. Tim Ball & pals Latour, Chilingar, Alker & editor John O’Sullivan.

Dr. Ball has won 2 important court cases exposing these frauds, one vs Andrew Weaver, one vs Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann. Dr. Ball was awarded full costs in the $multi-million dollar Mann suit. Mann had been awarded $millions in govt grants. Use the search box on this site.

In his previous great little handbook for the layman, Dr. Tim Ball openly named bankster Rockefellers & convicted felon George Soros as chief among the multi-billionaires pushing the warming/climate fraud. He names many others. Only 121 pages, an easy weekend must-read:
Human Caused Global Warming The Biggest Deception In History.

Dr. Tim also named their threefold motives, correctly I believe:
A vast depopulation.
A totalitarian world govt.

The de-industrialisation requires the destruction of the middle class & the impoverishment of all survivors back to serfdom. A jolly feudal future of Lords & serfs. CO2 is demonised because it is a by-product of industry.

This lunatic eco-fascism is madness on steroids & our politicians are dumb-as-doors ignorant, or complicit.

Al Gore’s film has 35 lies in it & 25 exaggerations, all tending to support the alarmist fraud. The odds are billions to one against. Lord Christopher Monckton exposed 9 “errors of fact”, as the Brit Judge politely said, dismissing the film as “political”. The excellent book by geology Prof. Ian Plimer exposes the rest: Heaven And Earth Global Warming: The Missing Science. 500+ pages, 2,000+ refs, a great chapter on History, highly recommended.

Reply to  John Doran
February 15, 2020 5:14 am

Dr. Pierre Latour: Engineering Earth’s Thermostat with CO2?

February 15, 2020 3:41 am

A carbon tax should be revenue neutral — the government should re-distribute the monies received to the population. There is inevitably leakage so that a portion of the the monies are spent on government programs instead of being paid directly to the population in proportion to the monies paid. A Swiss example …

“The revenues from the tax that were paid by the Swiss population are redistributed equally to all Swiss residents through health insurance companies and a deduction on their insurance premium. In June 2009, the Swiss Parliament decided to allocate about one-third of the revenue from the carbon tax to a 10-year building program for climate-friendly building renovations. This program promotes building renovations, the use of renewable energies, the utilization of waste heat, and building engineering.”

George Daddis
Reply to  Speed
February 15, 2020 6:52 am

All “revenue neutral” proposals that I have seen are thinly designed “wealth distribution” schemes.
And that is ignoring the cost of the necessary bureaucracy necessary to administer this economically non value adding program. (And who ever heard of a bureaucracy that gets smaller over time?)

The funds are distributed to “all residents” collectively, not individually; BIG difference.
Who gets to decide the relative distribution? In some US states that responsibility is given to an un-elected board.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Speed
February 15, 2020 7:10 am

“A carbon tax should be revenue neutral”

Impossible. A carbon dioxide tax increases the cost of everything in an economy. Other kinds of taxes don’t do that, they only hobble a certain segment of the economy, but a carbon dixoide/gasoline tax hobbles the entire economy and increases costs for every person in that economy, rich and poor. You can’t make that revenue neutral.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 15, 2020 9:21 am

“Impossible. A carbon dioxide tax increases the cost of everything in an economy. Other kinds of taxes don’t do that”


Every tax will grow Government bigger. Direct tax will grow it even bigger than indirect tax like a carbon dioxide/gasoline tax Bigger government hobbles the entire economy and increases costs for every person in that economy.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Robertvd
February 15, 2020 11:09 am

“Every tax will grow Government bigger.”

I’m not advocating any tax, carbon dioxide or othrwise, I was just describing the difference between a tax that affects one sector of the economy versus a tax that affects all sectors of the economy.

I’m for the smallest government possible that is still capable of taking care of the problems government is supposed to handle.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 15, 2020 4:45 pm

You like small government than indirect taxes like the carbon tax are the way to go.

February 15, 2020 3:48 am

“Average miles driven in Hawaii is less than on the mainland, at 11,100 miles/year. The average MPG for cars on the road is about 16 MPG.”
If this encourages the use of less thirsty vehicles it might have a positive side. 16 mpg (US) is 20 mpg(imperial), which almost no car in the UK consumes. My wife and I drive a comfortably large diesel family saloon (Citroen C4) and get an average above 50 mpg(imperial).

Reply to  RobHK
February 16, 2020 9:21 pm

Possibly a lot of your driving is on a non-stop motorway. The only highway like that in Hawaii is on Oahu, the H1 which is usually stop and go because of congestion. Most other driving in the state is a much lower speeds and lots of stopping never mind the terrain. Many of the poor are driving much older fuel inefficient vehicles as well. I can believe the average 16mpg.

February 15, 2020 4:09 am

Voters decide the Rulers but the Rulers decide how the voters are educated .
Education or control of it has always been the main equation.

old white guy
February 15, 2020 5:06 am

Is there an intelligent person left on this planet? CO2 is not a pollutant or a problem. No science can prove otherwise. Fake, fake, fake with a view to fleecing the terminally stupid who are growing in numbers daily. All those who babble about global warming and CO2 need to shut up.

February 15, 2020 6:04 am

Hawaii’s population is decreasing because of the high cost of living. This report in 2017 shows that.

And again in 2018.

And again in 2019.

It is the economy stupid. A carbon tax will make Hawaii even less affordable, meaning the population drain will continue.

not you
Reply to  Wade
February 15, 2020 9:04 am

“…the population drain will continue.”

that’s the whole point of the excercise

February 15, 2020 7:10 am

What is the State of Hawaii planning to do with the tax revenues from this new tax?
Surely tourism ( I suspect their largest source of income) will suffer greatly from the additional taxes on aviation fuels.
I see both no reason for nor any possible good that these taxes will accomplish.

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 15, 2020 8:41 am

What aviation ? The left wants to ban all aircraft…( No, electric passenger planes will never happen ! )

David S
February 15, 2020 8:10 am

The Lysenkoizing of America, no, the planet.

February 15, 2020 8:42 am

Hawaii can join Seattle, San Francisco, and LA in the homeless crisis club with policies like this one.

February 15, 2020 9:30 am

Taxing the middle class and the poor … it’s for the poor shlubs’s own good.

This is how the modern elitists Democrats think.
Here’s Michael Bloomberg, candidate for Democrat’s Presidential nomination, saying so in 2018 with International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde that took place on April 19, 2018:


February 15, 2020 11:26 am

I live on the Big Island of Hawaii.

IMO and observed on this island, the state is looking to eliminate gasoline and diesel engines from use by 2030; they simply have not yet told the public. For the past 10 years there has been a major push for homeowners to add solar with battery backup to their homes. In affect Hawaii County (Big Island) is creating Solar Power for the Island at the expense of the homeowner. Solar power generated on each home that is not used by homeowner or stored by the homeowner goes back into the grid. At the same time massive electric infrastructure has taken place such as increasing size and replacing substations. A recent remodel of a country store 25 miles north of Hilo ended up with a new electric recharge station as part of the permit process. There are charging stations popping up around Hilo; Target, Home Depot and others.

Public Education in Hawaii has always suffered at the hands of the Liberal DOE. Teacher shortages are always at critical levels. One of the main reasons for that is the cost of living along side of teacher salaries.

Currently I pay $7.50 for a quality loaf of bread. Gasoline is about $3.80 in Hilo.

Most people do not realize that almost every job in this state is controlled by a union. The history of union organization in Hawaii goes back the start of the sugar cane industry and the importation of Filipino, Japanese and Portuguese people to work the fields. Generational Union membership is a way of life in all walks of life. Hawaii State Government is THE MAIN UNION. It is a union. The average person living here would not have the ability to go against what the union tells them to do. They are sheep.

The population drain talked about above are not people who grew up here. It is people that came here and are leaving because the oppressive tax burden and cost of living.

Readers might be interested to know that the average welfare recipient in Hawaii receives in benefits what it takes a Hawaii teacher earns per year teaching school. I know of a 4th grade classroom teacher who recently gave birth to her first child. Her out of pocket expense was about $3K. That was after she had paid almost $6,500 in per year for Healthcare Ins. She was pissed because at the same time she was giving birth there were 3 parents of students in her classroom giving birth who were on welfare. None of those parents spent a dime out of pocket and each enjoyed an increase in welfare income for the addition of the new child to the family. Oh and by the way, the total number of students in the class was 14 and 7 families were on welfare. Oh, by the way, the teacher did not get a pay increase for the addition of the new child in the family.

IMO, HB2654 will destroy the tourist industry, drive people of island and reduce the quality of life here.

Senator Mazie Hirono fully supports AOC’s Green New deal. When asked about how that proposal might affect Hawaii air travel to the island and shipping, she replied, “We have always found ways to get by in Hawaii”.

Apparently she prefers of live off the land and is willing to give up all products and services that currently arrive her by plane and boat which in fact is 99% of everything.

Welcome of Paradise!

Reply to  Codetrader
February 15, 2020 12:57 pm

She belongs to the party of stupid. Barely in the top ten.

February 15, 2020 12:55 pm

All true believers should stop exhaling. Now that would make a difference.

February 15, 2020 1:59 pm

When will the State of Hawaii go full and just ban fossil fueled flights? Get rid of all the airports for planes and helicopters?

Seriously, do they think tourists who already pay a huge amount to visit the islands will enjoy paying even more? Might many people just decide to go elsewhere?

Rudolf Huber
February 15, 2020 3:04 pm

I like the fact that this nonsense happens in Hawai. Those islands are not connected t the grid of the Lower 48 and therefore they cannot do all those funny balancing games that avoid grid collapse in mainland US. Everything that goes wrong there will stay there and produce pain on a very localized level. Let Hawaiians pay for a while and see what happens. People learn to be sensible when the wallet drips dry.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rudolf Huber
February 15, 2020 3:42 pm

Good comment, Rudolf. Hawaii is its own little laboratory.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 15, 2020 3:27 pm

Comment for Willis:

I believe the Hawaii legislators are assuming tourists will pay most of the tax, as that is the single largest source of state GDP. Anyone who can afford to book a stay at any of the major hotel resorts won’t notice an extra $100 or so tacked on to their trip from the carbon tax. But wealthy tourists also demand first-rate accommodations and amenities and have plenty of other choices if one vacation spot fails to deliver. A record of unreliable power, insufficient hot water, no A/C in the clubhouse after golf, etc. will drive wealthy tourists away almost as quickly an outbreak of coronavirus.

Hawaii has already committed to have 100% renewable power by 2045 and they’re about 13% renewable now. So the carbon tax is one bad idea they’re considering to follow through on another bad idea.

%d bloggers like this: