Environmentalists and progressives have been pushing for a carbon tax since the failure of the 2009 effort to pass cap-and-trade, which CAP and Podesta thoroughly supported. Podesta even testified in favor of cap-and-trade before Congress in 2008.
“The challenge we face now is nothing short of the conversion of an economy sustained by high-carbon energy — putting both our national security and the health of our planet at serious risk — to one based on low-carbon, sustainable sources of energy,” Podesta testified.
Luckily, a carbon tax has no political legs at the moment as virtually every Republican in Congress opposes it. However, there’s no telling what could happen during tax-reform negotiations.
Moreover, the White House doesn’t need congressional approval to tax carbon, as it can just use the EPA to implement a backdoor carbon tax through clean air regulations. Obama essentially did this when he ordered the EPA to set emissions limits on coal plants, but Podesta could push the administration to do more to reduce carbon — forcing energy costs even higher.
The New York Times editorial board has also suggested that Podesta could help Interior Secretary Sally Jewell promote conservation on federal lands, which would stymy energy development. Jewell also promised environmentalists that she would act without Congress to keep federal lands off limits to energy producers. Podesta could help the inexperienced Jewell accomplish this.
Podesta is also an ardent UFO buff who has long pressed for declassification of government information on mysterious sightings in the sky.
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