Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February 20 News: China Will Introduce A Carbon Tax

According to a senior official with China's Ministry of Finance (MOF), the country is preparing to introduce a new set of new taxation policies designed to preserve the environment and conserve resources, including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. [XinHua]

The government will collect the environmental protection tax instead of pollutant discharge fees, as well as levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, Jia Chen, head of the ministry's tax policy division, wrote in an article published on the MOF's website....

The government is also looking into the possibility of taxing energy-intensive products such as batteries, as well as luxury goods such as aircraft that are not used for public transportation, according to Jia.

To conserve natural resources, the government will push forward resource tax reforms by taxing coal based on prices instead of sales volume, as well as raising coal taxes. A resource tax will also be levied on water.

The Koch brothers' political network is doing some serious self-assessment in the wake of the 2012 election - but they're not waiting for the final report for heads to roll. [Politico]

BP has won an agreement from the Justice Department that there will be no penalties on the barrels of crude oil the company was able to recapture during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, cutting the company's potential Clean Water Act fines by $900 million to $3.5 billion. [WaPo]

A bill introduced in the Kansas House would require the state's schools to provide evidence in classrooms both for and against the existence of climate change. [SFGate]

A senior Environmental Protection Agency official overseeing states in the West and Great Plains resigned Friday, amid intense congressional scrutiny over how EPA appointees have used personal e-mail addresses to conduct official business. [NYTimes]

A major snowstorm is poised to deliver much-needed precipitation to areas from central and southern California to the Rockies and Plains states during the next several days. Parts of Kansas and Nebraska may pick up more than a foot of snow. [Climate Central]

The environmental committee of the European Parliament voted to reduce the number of carbon emitting permits to be auctioned over the next three years, in order to shore a crash in the price of carbon caused by a surplus of the allowances. [NYTimes]

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