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Posted at 1:17 PM ET, 04/21/2010

MoCo official proposes carbon tax

By Washington Post editors

Just in time for Earth Day on Thursday, Montgomery County Council member and longtime energy lawyer Roger Berliner (D) is proposing an excise tax on major carbon emitters in the county, a move meant to spur faster action to address global warming.

The proposal would put a $5 tax on each ton of carbon dioxide sent skyward by “major emitters,” which Berliner’s draft legislation defines as “any person who owns or operates any stationary source of carbon dioxide located in the County that emits more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide in any calendar year.”

In practice, officials said the law would apply to one facility: the 844-megawatt Dickerson generating plant run by the Mirant Corp. Berliner says it would raise $15 million a year at a time when the county is facing serious fiscal challenges, and he said Pepco officials told him the tax will have no discernible impact on rates.

A Mirant representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

-- Michael Laris

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By Washington Post editors  | April 21, 2010; 1:17 PM ET
Tags:  Carbon Management, Carbon dioxide, Earth, Energy, Environment, United States  
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According to David O’Reilly the CEO of CHEVRON, the world currently consumes oil at a rate of about 40,000 US gallons per second. He says, “the scale of the energy system is enormous.”

Imagine a river of oil.

I thought it might interesting to see just how much oil we are talking about here, so I compared the amount of oil that we are currently burning in the world to the amount of water that flows in various waterfalls.

I used average yearly flow rate figures.

The flow rate of Jog Falls is about 153 cubic meters per second, a little less than our imaginary river of oil.

You can see what 153 cubic meters per second looks like here:

Read: According to the CEO of Chevron

Posted by: HarryBraun | April 21, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Imagine a river running out of your wallet....

Posted by: jeffreid1 | April 21, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

A vanity campaign by Berliner. Mirant won't pay a dime, they'll just pass it through like the rural phone welfare tax on our phone bills. The citizens will pay higher utility rates. One notch at a time. Barely discernable!

Posted by: melador | April 21, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

How about we get real on financial responsibility and consider some pay and benefit cuts for county employees?

If they don't like it, let 'em go try to find another job, see how far they get.

Same to you, Metro...

Posted by: HydroxCookies | April 21, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Those major emitters will just raise price on customers. I am liberal and this is disgusting. Why is it my fault that I am forced to use crappy technology? Our government wastes money subsidizing so much BS that we are stuck with old school technology.... Time for more solar and nuclear. Screw these carbon taxes and anyone who proposes them. Lazy jerks.

Posted by: FiatBooks | April 21, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

How about a 5 percent tax on remittances to foreign countries by illegal aliens? That would raise $50 million dollar in Montgomery County.

Posted by: postisarag | April 21, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

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