Redefining Progress is a leadingsustainability think-tank located in the USA. For over 12 years it and several other organizations have been studying the effects of taxing waste. The conclusion is that a quarter or more of all American public revenues could be replaced if the government started taxing waste and natural resource consumption instead of revenues and income. A modest introductory tax placed on the burning of fossil fuels, for example, coupled with a reduction in payroll taxes, could boost America's GDP and create 1.4 million new jobs while cutting climate change pollutants by 50%. (Hoerner, Andrew, ‘Tax Waste not Work') The nation's economy would thus be put on a sounder footing because growth would be more sustainable, less costly, and less dependent on foreign commodities. The problem, of course, is that there are few people in government who have the vision (or backbone) to commence such a change. Equally as true is that most people don't want higher taxes placed on anything – particularly (and paradoxically) if they've already invested significant amounts of money in inefficient homes and businesses, wasteful heating systems, fuel-guzzling vehicles, and so on. Enter the need for legislation.
Historically, businesses have always fought against most forms of legislation, but the costs associated with climate change are causing many CEOs to think twice about how laws that promote higher taxes and carbon caps can be used to help industry. In early 2007, for example, the CEOs of several top American corporations called on President George W. Bush to enact mandatory reductions in carbon emissions to combat global climate change (their goal was to cut greenhouse gas emissions 60% by 2050). The group, calling itself the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), consisted of chief executives from Alcoa, BP America, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, DuPont, the FPL Group, General Electric, Lehman Brothers, PG&E and PNM Resources – along with four leading non-governmental organizations including Environmental Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Pew Center on Climate Change and the World Resources Institute. By banding together to avoid a patchwork of potential costly and conflicting state or regional regulations, the group tried to work with lawmakers to set goals and targets that allow businesses time to make changes and implement solutions that will improve both the environment and energy efficiency, while protecting national trade and the economy. (‘Big Business Pushes Bush on Carbon Caps, Top US CEO's Tell President Action on Climateis Necessary', CBS news/AP)