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Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Zarquon » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 01:06:20

Tanada wrote:
drwater wrote:Tanada said
Switching to Natural Gas isn't the be all end all either, a ton of methane fully burned would cost you about as much as the coal.


Natural gas actually is far better than coal:

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=73&t=11

Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:

Coal (anthracite) 228.6
Coal (bituminous) 205.7
Coal (lignite) 215.4
Diesel fuel and heating oil 161.3
Gasoline 157.2
Propane 139.0
Natural gas 117.0

Add on top of that the fact that combined cycle natural gas power plants are closer to 60% thermodynamic efficiency versus low 30%s for single cycle coal plants, and you have a huge advantage for natural gas versus coal with a carbon tax.


You can't just skip right over the fact that natural gas to produce that Million Btu's of heat is more than three times as expensive as the coal to do the same job. You also can't compare a 70 year old lump coal steam plant with lousy 30 percent efficiency with the vast majority that are powdered coal fluidized bed combustion units. They started building that style in the 1970's for Pete's sake! A fluidized bed coal plant is 40 to 45 percent efficient. You also can not assume the Natural Gas is all being burned in combined cycle system to provide that 60 percent efficiency, a great many of them are simple gas turbine units intended for peaking use that have over time been left running more and more to make up for shortfalls in baseload power. Peaking plants and those simple baseload plants do not even have the Combined Cycle portion of the plant built, so it is literally impossible for them to achieve CCGT efficiency levels.


See the link above. The EIA numbers drwater posted already include power plant efficiency. So that's the amounts of CO² actually emitted.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby drwater » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 01:46:29

Subjectivist said:
You are playing games by assuming the lowest efficiency for coal against the highest efficiency for natural gas. Then you add in the fact that by the ton natural gas costs four times as much base price. A more realistic review makes the two sources pretty much equally expensive. If you then add in all the methane leaks from the natural gas choice it is actually even worse than coal from the global warming POV. What is needed is carbon free fuel, not a shell game switching from one bas fuel to a different bad fuel.


Tanada had a similar comment.

Here are the numbers:

Average efficiency for all existing U.S. coal (EIA, 2015): 33%
Average efficiency for all natural gas (EIA, 2015): 43%
Efficiency for new GE combined cycle: 49 - 60%

That's on top of the nearly half of CO2 emitted per unit of ENERGY. Net result is about 1/3 or less of the CO2 emitted for the same amount of electricity generated. Put a price on fugitive methane releases, and the O&G companies will minimize that.

You guys are right that newest most expensive technology coal plants can reach about 40% efficiency.

I have not compared prices, but just the fact that a whole lot of power generators have switched over from coal to natural gas in the last few years with the low NG prices suggests that it is already more cost competitive when all factors are considered. Add a carbon tax in, and we will need to have a retirement party for coal.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 07:45:59

How long do you expect Natural Gas to remain so 'cheap' if the 40 plus percent of current coal generation switches over to burning gas creating a massive additional demand?
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby drwater » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 11:54:23

Tanada said
How long do you expect Natural Gas to remain so 'cheap' if the 40 plus percent of current coal generation switches over to burning gas creating a massive additional demand?


Yeah - Good point. I see it as more of a bridge and peaking fuel, maybe some long term for base load in the Eastern US. Not sure what the depletion rates look like in the Marcellus and Utica. I personally would like to see more solar, wind, and modular nuclear.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 14:26:24

Again, I have to ask the question whether or not there will be a single beneficial effect - anything at all - from taxing carbon emissions. There are 200+ countries in this world, all buying and selling petroleum, coal, and gas (even wood pellets) on international exchanges. Even if the United States were to overnight end it's second-largest-FF-consumer status (following China), the 22% of the FF's we did not consume would be diverted and burned in other countries.

I simply do not believe that those diverse countries will ever agree on FF policies. If we cease FF combustion in the USA, it will not stop or even slow down in 200+ other countries, there will be a momentary blip, a glut that will simply dip prices and produce more demand for FF's.

A carbon tax is actually about revenues, as I see no possibility of such a tax reducing emissions unless you first persuade every country in the world to the same point of view. That includes persuading Vladimir Putin and King Saud to give up FF production, I would point out.

The revenues thus produced by such a tax start by harming the economy, and then the harm is multiplied by the inefficiencies of a large and unwieldy government spending the money, largely on pork and frivolities.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 17:26:19

KaiserJeep wrote: There are 200+ countries in this world, all buying and selling petroleum, coal, and gas (even wood pellets) on international exchanges. Even if the United States were to overnight end it's second-largest-FF-consumer status (following China), the 22% of the FF's we did not consume would be diverted and burned in other countries.

I simply do not believe that those diverse countries will ever agree on FF policies.


Actually there is reason for cautious optimism on that front. If countries are convinced there is a real problem, there is a chance they will take action.

Back in the late 80s the countries of the world all agreed to sign the The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. This treaty also involved a human pollutant that was damaging the earth's environment, just like CO2 is doing now. This treaty has been so successful that the Ozone Layer should return to its original condition by ca. 2050.

Similar treaties have been negotiated in the past on the climate front. The UN treaty process on climate change was set up by the UN abou† 25 years ago. That treaty process was pretty successful, producing first the Kyoto Accords and then a draft treaty for global CO2 reduction negotiated at Bali in 2007.

The draft Bali treaty was scheduled to be ratified at the Copenhagen meeting in 2009---but unfortunately we had switched presidents in the US between 2007 and 2009, and Obama went to Copenhagen and derailed the planned signing for the Bali draft treaty. Then Obama made things worse by abandoning 25 years of work towards treaties focussed on CO2 emission reductions and shifting instead with the Paris Accords to a treaty that forbids the world to warm up more than 2°C. Somehow I don't think the world will obey that command.

Well, Obama's gone now, and hopefully the world can get back on track towards reducing CO2 emissions. Trump doesn't seem like a likely person to advance that goal but if he doesn't push for CO2 reductions in the next 4 years then maybe the next president will.

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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 17:33:29

Plant, when all those countries signed up to preserve the ozone layer, most were not using aerosol cans with fluorocarbon propellants, or using refrigeration machinery with Freon refrigerants. Thus it was no hardship for the second and third world.

EVERYBODY uses petroleum fuels to grow and transport food. Without such fuels at least 3/4ths of the humans will starve.

That's the difference.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 17:47:29

KaiserJeep wrote:Plant, when all those countries signed up to preserve the ozone layer, most were not using aerosol cans with fluorocarbon propellants, or using refrigeration machinery with Freon refrigerants. Thus it was no hardship for the second and third world.

EVERYBODY uses petroleum fuels to grow and transport food. Without such fuels at least 3/4ths of the humans will starve.

That's the difference.


Thats a very valid point. But the principle is the same---both are human generated atmospheric pollutants causing major environmental damage.

Its obviously a bigger lift to get a carbon reduction treaty then a chlorofluorocarbon reduction treaty. I've been skeptical for years that we'd ever see carbon reduced. However, when you see senior Rs coming forth with a plan for a major carbon reduction policy, then you've got to think support for carbon reduction is starting to appear in surprising places, and perhaps there is some hope for eventual success.

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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Cog » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 18:09:39

As has been pointed out, those senior Republicans aren't in office and aren't running for one. A politician is going to have a hard time selling a carbon tax to his constituency. You might be able to cram that sort of a tax down in a blue state but that dog won't hunt in a red state.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Zarquon » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 19:33:52

The difference IMO is that finding acceptable substitutes for fluorocarbon propellants or Freon was relatively easy. Didn't really hurt business.

(BTW, the gas prices I posted on the last page were per liter. US average price per gallon is ~$2.30. That's what the 40 cents/gallon in tax would be added to.)
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 20:48:15

Zarquon wrote:The difference IMO is that finding acceptable substitutes for fluorocarbon propellants or Freon was relatively easy. Didn't really hurt business.


The ozone hole was an abstract problem to most people. Nonetheless the politicians acted====I cited the example to show that such treaties can be done.

As climate change and sea level rise begin to directly and personally effect more and more people there are going to be more and more advocates for doing something about it. Right now climate change is pretty far down the list of most people's concerns---they don't see how it effects them. Up here in Alaska its very clear the climate is changing dramatically---but most folks in the rest of the US don't get it yet.

I agree with Zarquon, Cog, and KaiserJeep that a carbon tax is hard for US politicians to back. Look how Obama and the Ds chickened out in 2010 when they had a veto proof majority and had promised to pass a carbon tax.====I also don't see the carbon tax getting passed by this Congress. There's a slim chance it might show up in the tax reform bill because the Rs need lots of money to do their infrastructure bill, but I don't hold out much hope there.

Nonetheless, its interesting that as some Ds are abandoning their support for a carbon tax, some Rs are taking the issue up. :)

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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 21:50:15

What I have a hard time believing is that people will starve in mass numbers to avoid injecting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Suppose you are an AGW believer. Would you voluntarily decide to starve yourself, your family, your friends, and in fact everybody you know to prevent carbon emissions from growing food with tractors and other machinery, or transporting food with trucks?
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That is literally the case with the 3rd world, where cheap food produced and transported with fossil fuels is all they have. They literally no longer have the ability to live without the cheap food that increased their numbers 10X or 100X. Nor is there enough of that. You must convince those people to starve for the sake of the rest of us who do have the means to live because we can pay the carbon tax.
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You can start by convincing those in Africa and Asia and South America that they need to stop eating, when eating practically is all they ever think about, because they don't have enough food already.
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Until you do these things, and until you convince me that a carbon tax will actually reduce carbon emissions around the world, I will continue to oppose it. It is simply another means of removing wealth from the Middle Class as these people disappear into the Welfare Class, and transferring that wealth to a government that takes care of itself and the Upper Class.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Zarquon » Sat 18 Feb 2017, 01:14:21

Note that the current proposal calls is supposed to be revenue-neutral. It's not supposed to be a punitive tax. The whole document is woefully short on details, but they state that a family of four would/might get an annual cheque for $2,000, this being their share of the carbon windfall. Which they can then spend on gasoline and electricity bills. No government money can thus be invested in alternative energy sources.

And what I like best about the R plan is that they recommend a fixed tax for five years. After that, an expert panel *could* meet and debate (for another year) and then presumably recommend a tax increase of, say, another five or six dollars. Thus bringing carbon tax in line with inflation. Another triumph for the climate.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 18 Feb 2017, 01:56:12

KaiserJeep wrote:
Image
.....the 3rd world, where cheap food produced and transported with fossil fuels is all they have. They literally no longer have the ability to live without the cheap food that increased their numbers 10X or 100X. Nor is there enough of that. You must convince those people to starve for the sake of the rest of us who do have the means to live because we can pay the carbon tax.
Image
You can start by convincing those in Africa and Asia and South America that they need to stop eating, when eating practically is all they ever think about, because they don't have enough food already.
Image



If you are right and a carbon tax will slow population growth in Africa, then thats just another reason to support it as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Zarquon » Sat 25 Feb 2017, 01:26:41

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060044632

"Hillary Clinton was examining an aggressive carbon tax as a central pillar of her campaign's climate agenda, according to internal emails leaked yesterday that show closely held details about her thinking at the outset of the presidential race.

Clinton asked several advisers to specify how a $42 "GHG pollution fee" applied to every ton of carbon dioxide would affect Americans financially and how the tax would work. They responded in a 12-page memo on Jan. 20, 2015, released yesterday by WikiLeaks in a continuing dump of documents that is increasingly frustrating the Clinton campaign less than 20 days before the election.

The memo outlines how the tax could hike the price of gasoline 40 cents a gallon and raise electricity costs on families, particularly those with lower incomes. Those burdens could be offset by rebating billions of dollars raised by the tax to all but the wealthiest Americans.

Under the tax, described in the documents as a "potential" campaign policy, families with the smallest incomes could have seen energy costs rise $495 a year. But annual rebates of $1,573 would eclipse those losses, giving them more than $1,000 in government funding.

In a separate memo to Clinton in December 2014, her advisers said a carbon tax could be seen as a key part of a broad progressive agenda. But they also had political concerns.

"Making a GHG fee a central element of a climate policy will also inevitably elicit traditional attacks from conservatives and fossil fuel interests, who will call it an energy tax and warn of skyrocketing electricity bills and domestic energy shortages," the memo reads.
..."
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Cog » Sat 25 Feb 2017, 06:38:04

#hillarynotmypresident
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 25 Feb 2017, 08:12:32

I haven't heard any new news on this plan in quite a while. Anyone hear anything new?

It would be a shame to drop it.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Cog » Sat 25 Feb 2017, 08:22:56

It ended up in the bin of other bad ideas such as Mitt Romney for Secretary of State.
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 25 Feb 2017, 08:25:36

You got a link?
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Re: Republicans propose Carbon Tax for USA

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 25 Feb 2017, 08:32:45

The carbon tax could be a highly desirable improvement in the U.S. fiscal system. Unlike most federal taxes, it would be an incentive for economic efficiency. As Reagan advised, “If you want less of something, tax it,” and the U.S. should not waste irreplaceable national fossil-energy resources.


Barons

http://www.barrons.com/articles/the-gre ... 1488000363

I'll look for more news.
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