SF To Tax Bakeries, Gas Stations, Refineries for CO2 Emissions
If you had any doubts that Californians are serious about de-warming the planet, San Francisco regulators are determined to remove your lack of faith. The New York Times reports that "Air quality regulators in the San Francisco Bay Area appear set to begin charging hundreds of businesses in the region for their emissions of heat-trapping gases." Ready, set, appear set! The Old Gray Lady reports that the proposed tax on greenhouse gas "pollution" is a pittance– just 4.4 cents per ton of carbon dioxide emitted– and will hit some businesses (e.g. Big Oil) harder than others. "Regulators indicated that the fee could raise $1.1 million annually. Refineries, power plants and cement plants would pay nearly 90 percent of total fees. The largest gas stations might be charged $1 a year; the Safeway bakery that supplies bread to all stores in the Bay Area would pay $85 a year. The biggest emitter of the gases, the Shell oil refinery in Martinez, would have to pay $195,355, based on 2005 emissions of 4.4 million metric tons." To paraphrase Horton, a tax is a tax no matter how small. And while it would be difficult [politically] to hit-up local residents for CO2 emissions at the user end of the equation (say, a thousandth of a penny per box of organic Raisin Bran), I wouldn't it put it past these guys.
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