There are well-established measures of the carbon dioxide emissions that result from burning various fossil fuels. Our bill uses the numbers on this U.S. Energy Information Administration page, specifically the second column: kg CO2 per unit volume or mass. Note that the carbon tax is calculated per metric ton of CO2 and that a metric ton is 1000 kg, so (for example) a carbon tax of $12 per metric ton CO2 works out for finished motor gasoline as follows: (8.10 kg CO2 / gallon) x ($12 / 1000 kg) = 9.72 cents per gallon.

Administration of the carbon tax will mostly be “upstream” for simplicity. More specifically:

  • For motor fuels, the carbon tax will piggy-back on existing taxes on motor gasoline, on-road diesel, and aviation fuels.
  • For electricity, the carbon tax will be levied on electric utilities such as Rocky Mountain Power using the single system-average deliveries metric in the Electric Power Sector Protocol from The Climate Registry.
  • For natural gas, the carbon tax will be collected by suppliers such as Dominion.
  • Large facilities (including refineries, but not including electric power plants since electricity is covered above) will pay the carbon tax directly on consumption of coal, off-road diesel, or fuel gas if they consume large amounts of those products.

In Spanish / En español:

¿Cómo es el contenido de carbono de diferentes combustibles fósiles determinado? 

Existen medidas bien establecidas de las emisiones de dióxido de carbono que resultan de la combustión de diversos combustibles fósiles. Nuestro proyecto utiliza los números en la segunda columna (kg CO2 por unidad de volumen o masa) de esta página de administración de información energética de Estados Unidos. Nota que el impuesto de carbono se calcula por tonelada métrica de CO2 y que una tonelada métrica 1000 kg, así que (por ejemplo) un impuesto al carbono de 12 dólares por tonelada métrica CO2 trabaja para gasolina completa como sigue: (8,10 kg CO2 / galón) x ($12/1000 kg) = 9,72 centavos por galón.