A Free-Market Energy Blog

Trump’s NO to Climate Alarmism/Forced Energy Transformation (very good news from the campaign trail)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 16, 2016

“I will not support or endorse a carbon tax!”

– Trump Tweet, May 13, 2016

“A Donald Trump presidency would be an environmental disaster.”

– League of Conservation Voters, May 5, 2016

The other side is screaming already. The presumptive Republican nominee for the next president of the United States is proving himself to be better than some Republicans, and even a few self-styled libertarians, in his wholesale rejection of climate alarmism and its public-policy corollary, government-forced energy transformation. (For Trump’s broader energy views, see here.)

Trump’s unequivocal policy follows another development: the rejection of a carbon tax as trade bait for abolishing climate regulation (see Robert Murphy’s post, Vox Admits There Will Be No Carbon Tax Deal).

Right and left–CO2 emission taxation deserves a speedy burial at the (misnamed) Niskanen Institute, where libertarian scholarship seems to be missing. [1] Giving government a new qualitative source of revenue (the carbon tax) on the theoretical idea that it would remove existing regulation and/or taxation is not a real-world idea but an imagination of an omnipotent, global Environmental Pope. It is also a non-persuasive buy-in to the neo-Malthusian idea of global market failure from industrialization.

And did I mention that a country-by-country tariff regime would be necessary as part of this new tax regime? And income-tax adjustments to address regressivity?

Left Getting Apocalyptic

“In a profound blow to common sense, the future of the planet, and families across the country, Donald Trump’s victory solidifies the unfortunate fact that a person with a total disregard for the crisis posed by climate change will have a megaphone throughout the general election,” stated Sierra Club Political Director, Khalid Pitts.

Added a UK climate alarmist:

Think about the impact of the coming U.S. presidential elections. If a climate change denier was to be elected, it would threaten dramatically global action against climate disruption. We must not think that everything is settled.

The League of Conservation Voters worries that Trump, who has “repeatedly called for cutting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” would gut President’s signature climate action.

The EPA is charged with executing and enforcing the Clean Power Plan, the nation’s first federal limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants are allowed to dump into our air. If Trump eliminated funding the agency itself, the Clean Power Plan would effectively be nullified.

The League also noted that Trump as President “would have skipped the [Paris climate] summit, arguing that ‘there are more important things to do’.”

To all this: Bravo to a new kind of president who addresses here-and-now problems (such as the federal budget deficit and accumulated national debt) rather than hypothetical climate scenarios that would need a resilient free-market economy to address anyway. 

Appendix: “Trump says No! to a carbon tax” [Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter, May 13, 2016]

Donald Trump today rejected the idea of using a carbon tax to address climate change after ClimateWire reported that the presumptive Republican nominee had picked Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to advise him on energy issues.

“I will not support or endorse a carbon tax!” Trump tweeted this afternoon.

Cramer is a second-term congressman who believes a small carbon tax could replace the Clean Power Plan, President Obama’s signature climate policy targeting greenhouse gas emissions at electric power plants. Cramer says the carbon revenue could be used to fund “clean fossil fuel” research and development (ClimateWire, May 13).

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told E&ENews PM in an email that Cramer “is one of many advising Mr. Trump on energy issues, however under no circumstances would Mr. Trump impose a carbon tax.”

When asked how Trump would address the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut emissions 32 percent from the electricity sector if it survives legal challenges, Hicks said, “We will follow up when we are ready to discuss additional specific energy policies and plans.” ….

[1] Libertarian scholarship is marked by the scholar assessing the best arguments on both sides, not writing a ‘lawyer’s brief’ for the preferred position. For an example of a lawyer’s brief for a carbon tax, see Jerry Taylor, ‘The Conservative Case for a Carbon Tax” (March 23, 2015).


  1. Roald J. Larsen  

    The world needs to end the man made global warming hoax and its crippling taxes on transport, production, consumers, homes and families.

    Energy is the blood of the modern society, energy is food on the table, energy is jobs, energy is prosperity, we need more of it, not less!

    Ending the “green” taxes, subsidies and the “green” energy transition to “sustainable energy” will unlock vast potential for economic growth.

    Which is exactly the right medicine for the whole world, the leftists dream of a world wide Venezuelian socialist-fiasco can wait!


  2. Oliver K. Manuel  

    The SUN is at the very top of the energy chain in the solar system.

    Here is a link to the proof-reader’s copy of the article on“Solar energy” published yesterday in the International Journal of Education & Research.


    Comments, criticisms or corrections from you or others will be appreciated.

    Oliver K. Manuel


  3. The 'Epstein Energy Eight' for the November Election - Master Resource  

    […] to mineral rights on public land. But as it stands, this is a manifesto for Donald Trump (who is already on board with a number of these to-do’s) and the to-be-determined Libertarian […]


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