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Chris Dodd on Energy & Oil

Democratic Sr Senator (CT)


Propose a gasoline rebate and move to energy independence

I offered to provide a direct rebate to consumers across the country to reduce the cost with these increases in the price of a barrel of oil. That would provide some immediate relief, with low-income energy assistance and other programs, to those who are going to be in desperate conditions. The longer-term answer is obviously to stop what we do every single day and that is borrow $1 billion every single day to buy foreign oil offshore here. We ought to moving more directly to energy independence.
Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University Oct 30, 2007

80% reduction in CO2 by the year 2080

Q: What policies would you implement to make businesses invest in energy-efficient technologies?

A: On energy issues here, I stand for having an 80% reduction in CO2 by the year 2080; we do so by setting a mile per gallon standard of 50 miles per gallon by the year 2017. There were automobiles produced back in 1983 that got 43 miles per gallon; we can do a lot better.

Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum Aug 8, 2007

Tax polluters & invest funds in alternative tech

I would tax those who pollute. I would use the money from that to invest in the alternative technologies of wind and solar and ethanol and other biofuels that would make it possible for us to become independent. There’s no other gift that you and I could give to our children and our grandchildren that could be more important that having an independent energy policy utilizing the technologies and ideas that exist in this country.
Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum Aug 8, 2007

Raise standard to 50 mpg by 2017; make federal fleet hybrids

Q: How do you get Americans to conserve?

A: There are a number of things. The 50-mile-per-gallon standard is something I’ve advocated by 2017, that I would push hard for. Entire fleet of federal automobiles would be hybrids or electric automobiles, so we reduce even further out consumption. I myself drive a hybrid. But I believe I’m the only candidate here, along with Al Gore, who’s called for a corporate carbon tax.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Impose corporate carbon tax; need price incentives for GHGs

[I support a] corporate carbon tax. You’ve got to tax polluters. You’ve got to separate the price differential so that we can move away from fossil fuels that do so much damage to our environment, to our economy, to our future, to jobs in this country. Until you deal with the issue of price, until you impose a corporate carbon tax, we will never get away from fossil fuels. It’s the only way this can be achieved. You have to advocate that if you’re serious about global warming.
Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

FactCheck: Two other candidates also call for carbon taxes

Chris Dodd was rhetorically accurate but intellectually disingenuous when he said, “I believe I’m the only candidate here, along with Al Gore, who’s called for a corporate carbon tax. You’ve got to tax polluters.”

Dodd is the only candidate to call for a “corporate carbon tax,” and indeed, Al Gore has advocated the same, though he often refers to it as a “pollution tax.” But two other candidates offer similar plans. Both Richardson and Edwards have proposed some form of carbon permitting by which companies would have to apply and pay a fee for the right to emit carbon pollutants. It is worth noting that all three candidates have also called for a reduction in greenhouse emissions of at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate Jul 23, 2007

Carbon tax of $50B/year to make alternatives competitive

Q: To fight global warming, your somewhat controversial idea is a corporate carbon tax on big polluters which you say would raise $50 billion a year. Wouldn’t a lot of that be passed on to consumers and also put a real drag on the economy?

A: Well, not really. Look, the great barrier to moving away from our dependency on foreign oil coming out of the Middle East and elsewhere is price. The great elasticity in the price of oil can be anywhere from $70 a barrel down to $20 a barrel at still make profits at it. So any time renewable & alternative energies come along to be competitive economically, that price of fossil fuels can drop & make them less competitive. A tax on polluting emissions would allow alternative ideas to be competitive with them economically. You can’t do that unless there’s a carbon tax. I know it’s tough. But the carbon tax and a 50-mile-per-gallon standard that I’m also advocating here on automobiles will help us get there very quickly, in my view.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews May 6, 2007

Gas tax its consumers too directly; tax carbon instead

Q: If you really want to stop people from driving too much & encourage alternative fuels, why not increase the gas tax?

A: Well, I think there’s a better way of doing it, and that’s why at the corporate carbon tax level, that money, that $50 billion to $100 billion, which is a lot less than the money we’re paying today to countries in hostile parts of the world, would allow us to invest in a fast track to develop these technologies, provide the kind of financial relief to people out there who want to make these other choices but, frankly, can’t afford to make them and provide the assistance to some of these people producing these polluting emissions, to allow them to make that transition here, many of whom want to make that transition. A direct tax on gasoline -- obviously, that’s going to hit consumers very directly. This proposal is less direct, provides relief for consumers, as well as allows us to invest these dollars in the technologies that I think we can bring online very, very quickly.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews May 6, 2007

Voted NO on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.