February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
Our extensive collection of documents.
Archives of the
Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 6, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1993
CLINTON PROPOSES ENERGY TAX
U.S. President Bill Clinton proposed a
broad-based energy tax as part of his economic recovery plan released in
February. The rate would be based on the energy content (measured by British
thermal units or Btu) of various energy sources in an attempt, according to
Clinton, to even the impacts over demographic groups and industries. Coal,
natural gas, nuclear power and hydroelectricity would be taxed at a rate of 25.7
cents per Btu, and oil at 59.9 cents per Btu. For instance, gasoline prices are
expected to increase about 7.5 cents per gallon. Other renewable sources (wind,
solar, geothermal, biomass) would be exempt. Although the generation of income
is the prime motivation for the tax, the Clinton Administration estimates that
the tax would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions 25 million metric tons by
the year 2000, about 1.7 percent of the 1990 level.
The proposal has implications for the other major industrial nations. The
European Community has made its proposed carbon/energy tax contingent on similar
moves by the U.S. and Japan, so that European industries would not be at a
disadvantage. According to articles in Global Environ. Change Rep. (Feb.
26) and Energy, Econ. & Clim. Change (Feb.), the U.S. tax would
encourage similar moves in both Europe and Japan, even though the tax burden
might be less than half that proposed in Europe. Japan is considering a similar
tax, but its Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and
environmental agency are divided on the issue.
See Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 115-116, Feb. 24 1993; New Scientist,
p. 4, Feb. 27 1993. A summary of the entire Clinton economic recovery plan, A
Vision of Change for America, is available for $7.50 from Supt. Docs., U.S.
Govt. Printing Off., MS-SSOP, Washington DC 20402 (202-783-3238).
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations