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Ross Collins

May 23, 2014
11:06

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Thinking outside of the box is important, I'm glad this proposal is attempting to do so. I have some clarifying questions though. Below is a passage from your proposal: "Carbon Business Opportunity funds are collected at wells, mines, and borders. The carbon opportunity would apply to imports (goods and fossil fuels) proportional to the imports’ carbon footprint. For fossil fuels produced in the U.S., the carbon price is collected at the well or the mine based on the sold production." I'm curious, who do you envision doing the collecting of funds? You mention that private banks will be in charge of managing the money (and making investments), but how will you decide whether Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan collects the money in the first place? Finally, how will this proposal reduce carbon emissions? Recall that doing so is an important criteria for this contest.

Chris Taylor

May 31, 2014
03:30

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I'm all for these Free Market Solutions, so a big plus there. I'm not sure what you mean by "Base the carbon tariff on $ per $ of the good." though. Earlier you mentioned that "The carbon opportunity would apply to imports (goods and fossil fuels) proportional to the imports’ carbon footprint." Whilst I'm at it, could you kindly critique my proposal so that I can strengthen it: https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300404/planId/1305907

Mark Capron

Jun 4, 2014
11:32

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rdc8J - Private Banks bid for the business of collecting and distributing the money every few years. Good possibility the Banks will offer to pay for the opportunity to handle the money, if the money management contract is structured to allow Banks some short-term use of the money. The primary goals of the money management contract are to 1) collect all the money (prevent cheating) and 2) disburse the money quickly within the rules (prevent cheating). The Banks do not invest the money in ways which might delay disbursements more than a few days. The write-up does not directly address how this proposal will reduce carbon emissions because doing so might offend the target audience. At the least, it would dilute the message "Americans can "make out" at the expense of the rest of the world." I expect that contest judges and most of the target audience realize that increasing the relative cost of fossil fuels drives people to avoid buying fossil fuels and to permanently store CO2. Judges have an interesting dilemma: Do you appreciate my lack of specifics as an innovative answer to "How much will ..." in keeping with the proposals design audience to accomplish the main goal (How could a carbon price be implemented...) knowing full well that $120/ton of CO2 will drive emissions of fossil CO2 to zero relatively quickly; or do judges adhere tightly to their scoring boxes.

Mark Capron

Jun 4, 2014
12:24

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christaylor - Say a car sticker price is $20,000. If from China, the carbon tariff might be the maximum (maybe $0.1 per $ of good or $2,000). If from Germany, the carbon tariff might be half the maximum or $0.05 per $ of good or $1,000). The $ per $ of good will be an elaborate calculation based on how the $120/ton of CO2 translates into imports from that country. Nice free market approach. "Internalized" is less complex than my "Opportunity". You might adjust the title and first few paragraphs to be more immediately clear to fossil fuel executives and congressional staffers.

Felipe De Leon

Jun 17, 2014
08:26

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Hi Mark, Your Proposal seems very interesting and definitely different to most other approaches I have seen to setting a price on carbon. There are a few details I would be interested in clarifying: You claim that “Businesses in general will experience roughly the same net costs.” However different businesses and sectors have different levels of exposure to changes in energy prices and therefore would not experience the same cost increase as others. How would you address this? -You suggest the CBO “would apply to imports (goods and fossil fuels) proportional to the imports’ carbon footprint”. How would that carbon footprint be calculated/reported? By whom? How would the infrastructure to calculate/maintain footprints for these products be paid for? -How does the CBO incorporate the need to reduce emissions from non-energy sectors? What about products in which many/most of their emissions come from the process/product itself rather than from related energy consumption (meat and dairy products, solid waste, cement production, etc) -You describe a “Simple Reward” that is basically distributing CBO funds to all taxpayers based on the actual taxes they pay. What is being rewarded? What is the relationship between level of taxes payed and a behavior you are trying to promote that is being rewarded through this distribution scheme? I look forward to your response.

Ross Collins

Jun 27, 2014
03:05

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@MarkCapron - There isn't going to be a concrete scoring rubric that the judges use. In fact, the lineup of judges we're recruiting right now for the contest is likely to be quite diverse, in terms of background and experience, so we want them to have some latitude when judging proposals. That said, we have worked hard to create some general parameters for the contest, which includes a reduction in future U.S. carbon emissions. With the month or so that you have remaining in the contest (deadline is July 20th), I would recommend that you think hard about the extent to which your proposal would reduce carbon emissions, and the mechanisms by which it would do so. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to message me privately, but if it's a conversation that the rest of the CoLab community would benefit from (and it seems like it is), then simply keep the thread going here. Good luck!

Mark Capron

Jul 27, 2014
09:35

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Proposal
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I'll stick with Mark's comment but go farther. A majority of the House of Representatives wants "small government." It is possible to build small government into the carbon business opportunity. Mostly the same individuals do not see the need for climate action, especially when such actions look like "big government." These same people and others in the House are likely to be reelected, if their constituents "make out" perhaps especially at the expense of the rest of the world. Catch 22 - Declaring the carbon business opportunity zeros fossil fuel emissions rapidly could win the contest, but winning Climate CoLab is not an endorsement with small government believers (No offense, but whoever wins is automatically suspect and certainly not from the correct tribe.) But not quantifying the carbon reduction doesn't win the contest and the lack of publicity leaves the House ignoring the "big government" carbon tax bills. Solution - If your judges are that diverse, some of them will be able to slip the "small government" carbon business opportunity to several influential (wide audience) advocates of small government. Your well-connected judge should consider not tainting this small government opportunity by mentioning it came from Climate CoLab. I don't mind if they "forget" it, wake up six months from now with this great idea, and then contact the appropriate people. Having this discussion on the radio and TV is a better prelude to action by the House than winning Climate CoLab.

Climate Colab

Aug 5, 2014
08:21

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The tax-and-return approach is attractive. Return based on U.S. income taxes paid would increase the regressiveness of the carbon pricing. The proposal is aggressive, making a tenuous stretch to speak even to educational reform. The name "Carbon Business Opportunity" is off-putting and could be attacked for being confusing if not Orwellian.
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