I agree that a tax wont work if we let it get corrupted, but not all companies are bad, I think a lot of people actually recognize the need to address environmental issues, but simply can't afford to because if you're the only one doing it, out of goodness, then you're not making money, competitors can undercut you, and investors will flee for the higher earners. So I think a lot would actually support a CO2 tax system that allows them to be competitive within a new set of rules. Meanwhile the consumer interest is also (and with good cause) shifting to support greener technology, even if it costs a little more, tax pushes it. I'm speaking from a little personal experience and a broader involvement, but I work for a big company and understand those motivations, and in that role I wind up attending a lot of seminars and reading a lot at the academic/industry level on specifically CO2 emissions topics. universally it's #1 you have to appease investors and you have to do that by showing profitability first, but if the rules change and you're the ones best prepared to be profitable then you win.
I guess what I mean is, there are ways I think this works with a tax. certainly there will be companies trying to lobby a dishonest easy path for themselves, but it also leaves room for innovation to give new technology the leg up. And Ithink there are a lot of companies waiting to pursue new technologies once they become profitable - in the expectation of taxes or regulation