Could a carbon tax find its way into Obama’s tax reform effort?

carbon taxPresident Obama has called for a “grand bargain” on tax reform, with lower corporate tax rates and more infrastructure funding, but so far he is not signaling an interest in the congressional push for carbon taxes.

Obama’s tax plan involves lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent for companies and 25 percent for manufacturers, along with a slew of tax credits including benefits for bringing jobs back home and developing renewable energy.

“We’ll keep creating good jobs in wind, solar, and natural gas that are reducing energy costs, reducing dangerous carbon pollution, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” the president said Tuesday while outlining his plan in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Now is not the time to gut the investments in American technology that have brought us to this point — now is the time to double down on renewables, and biofuels, and electric vehicles, and the research that will shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”

Renewable energy funding has been heavily criticized for losing taxpayer dollars in failed investments, such as Solyndra, and for subsidizing uneconomical energy sources.

“Doubling down on renewable energy has got to be the dumbest idea in a speech full of dumb ideas,” said Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “The president challenges Republicans to come up with better ideas, but he has rejected all of their much better ideas on reducing the incredibly costly EPA regulations that are stifling innovation, new business start-ups, and job creation.”

Daniel Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research said Obama remarks were the “same stuff he’s been saying for five years now about how he wants to increase taxation on the kind of energy people want to use — and do use in this country — and instead subsidize the sorts of energy that he likes.”

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