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A carbon tax? At our own peril

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Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A new study from the National Association of Manufacturers and the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association confirms the absurdity of anti-growth, climate-clucking leftists' claims that a U.S. tax on carbon-dioxide emissions would be good for both the environment and the economy.

The study finds that either a carbon tax starting at $20 per ton and rising 4 percent annually or one reducing CO2 emissions 80 percent would have a “net negative effect on consumption, investment and jobs” nationwide and in Pennsylvania.

The resulting economic slowdown would cost far more in federal revenue than a carbon tax would yield. Higher coal, natural gas and gasoline prices would depress non-energy spending, decrease wages as much as 8.5 percent and reduce manufacturing output as much as 15 percent in energy-intensive sectors, 7.7 percent in non-energy-intensive sectors.

In Pennsylvania, workers would lose income equivalent to 77,000 to 81,000 jobs in 2013, 96,000 to 120,000 jobs by 2023. Natural-gas costs would rise more than 40 percent, average household electricity rates 13 percent, gasoline prices more than 20 cents per gallon — just in 2013. By 2023, coal-sector output would drop 48 to 54 percent, with manufacturing output falling 1.9 percent in energy-intensive sectors, 0.5 to 0.9 percent in non-energy-intensive sectors.

With this study definitively demonstrating devastating effects on the real-world economy, only nonsensically utopian radicals can still portray a carbon tax as a prescription for prosperity.

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