updated 4/19/2007 12:45:24 PM ET 2007-04-19T16:45:24

Sen. Chris Dodd, splitting with his Democratic presidential rivals over the best way to cut pollution and curb global warming, wants to tax corporations for their carbon dioxide emissions.

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"You have to have a price-driven strategy if you are going to succeed in this thing," Dodd said in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. "Otherwise, I'm afraid it's just a lot of talk. People are trying to avoid the difficult decisions."

The Connecticut senator will unveil his energy plan Thursday that calls for a steep increase of auto fuel economy standards to 50 miles per gallon by 2017 and a mandate for the government to use clean-energy vehicles and green technology in all its offices.

Corporate carbon tax called for
"I'm going to set a high goal here and drive it," said Dodd, who touts his plan as a way to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and to boost the economy.

Dodd's proposal sets a goal of reducing 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

He wants to discourage corporate greenhousee gas polluters by imposing a per-ton fee on businesses for carbon emissions.

The tax revenue, which he estimates at about $50 billion annually, would be used to develop renewable energies and to reduce prices for consumer products.

Critics warn such a tax would burden consumers and hurt the economy.

Most of Dodd's Democratic rivals back some form of a cap-and-trade system that sets limits on carbon emissions and makes companies pay for producing greenhouse gases. But none has called for a corporate carbon tax. Dodd backs both approaches.

"You can't just do this by talking about investing in fuel cells and investing in solar (energy)," he said. "You've got to have a tough answer. And if you don't have a tough answer, you aren't going to get there."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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