Oh No MoCo…Again

Watch Montgomery County Councilman George Leventhal insult constituents who oppose the misguided county carbon tax he favors then pat himself on the back for his ingenuity.

Montgomery’s carbon tax would put a $5 levy on each ton of carbon dioxide any company produces over 1 million tons. The tax would affect only one company, Mirant, which operates a coal-fired plant in Dickerson, MD. Supporters of the tax say the county would reap $15 million from the tax.

Remember businesses don’t pay taxes. They pass the cost of taxes on to consumers, in this case the utilities, which purchase the power from Mirant and the Maryland ratepayers to whom the utilities sell that power. In essence, Montgomery’s carbon tax is a regulatory tax foisted upon all Maryland utility customers.

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Furthermore, it’s not the most economically sound course to tax a coal-fired power plant in Maryland, a state which generates 60% of it’s energy above the national average from coal.

Environmentalists will naturally counter that the externality of carbon dioxide emissions, which they allege drives global warming, is far more costly than the proposed tax. However, that presumption rests on the fallacy that reduced carbon dioxide emissions equal lower temperatures. They don’t, which is why environmentalists couch their arguments in terms of reduced carbon dioxide levels not temperature increase averted. Case in point, the Waxman-Markey the federal cap and trade bill passed by the House would surely reduce carbon emissions (while increasing energy bills and unemployment) but result in a meaningless one nine-hundredth of a degree change in average global temperature by 2050.

Millionaires are fleeing, County Executive Ike Leggett wants to raise energy taxes on business that create jobs, council members side with public sector unions against solutions to budget crises the unions caused, and now Leventhal insults citizens who show the temerity to question the efficacy of a dubious tax.

Seriously, what’s the matter with Montgomery County?

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