Wow, what an amazing idea!
Former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has a plan to enable expanded U.S. natural gas exports and curb environmental risks: Taxes.
Blair, in a U.S. News and World Report op-ed on energy policy, argues for taxing exports to help improve oversight of booming U.S. natural gas production.
“A tax on exported natural gas can be used to fund both competent regulatory agencies and research on safer and cleaner technologies for natural gas,” writes Blair, who was the nation’s top intelligence official from January 2009 until mid-2010.
Blair, a retired Navy admiral, is an adviser to this week’s Pacific Energy Summit in Vancouver and will also speak at the event.
While the concept of “export taxes” aren’t uncommon, or against WTO rules, they tend to be the monopoly property of developing nations with economies so weak, their governments are taxing everything that moves — both in and out of the country.
As for it ever happening in the United States, don’t bet on it barring a constitutional amendment.
Congress only has the power to tax imports; standard operating procedure for any national economy. The Founding Fathers specifically outlawed taxing exports — particularly exports between the states — in an effort to “form a more perfect union” as well as avoid massive confusion among traders who were paying a “Virginia Export Tax” or a “New York Export Tax” and so on. In the effort to clean it up, they barred the practice outright.
Today, only economic idiots and the constitutionally naive consider the idea. Dennis Blair fits in both categories.