Al Gore: 'Cap and Trade' Needed to Avoid 'Climate Cliff'
On Tuesday, Al Gore again called for a "cap and trade" system by warning Americans the country faces a "climate cliff" in addition to a "fiscal cliff."
"It will be difficult for sure but we can back away from the fiscal cliff and the climate cliff at the same time," Gore said. "One way is with a carbon tax.”
Gore proposed a "carbon tax swap," where a cap and trade system would be instituted in exchange for income taxes being lowered. Even conservatives like Grover Norquist had given some credence to this idea before backing off, realizing that income taxes could be raised by future Congresses while a carbon tax -- once instituted --- would be nearly impossible to undo.
"The most direct policy solution to the climate crisis is a carbon tax, offset by reductions in taxes on wages," Gore said. "By including the carbon tax in the solution to the fiscal cliff we can [get] away from the climate cliff."
Gore also said Obama had a mandate to act on climate change, not acknowledging Obama's lack of mandate in the House, where Republicans still have a commanding majority. Gore, according to The Hill, even said it would be "insane" to open the Keystone XL pipeline because the source of liquid fuel was "dirty." The ratings agency Moody's, forecasted Obama would approve of the Keystone pipeline from Canada to Texas during his second term.
"I think all who look at these circumstances should agree that President Obama does have a mandate, should he choose to use it, to act boldly to solve the climate crisis, to begin solving it," Gore said.
A report by the Institute for Energy Research released on Tuesday found "cap and trade" would hinder economic growth and be a net tax increase.