Pricing carbon may not work the way economists thought.
In theory, pricing carbon should incentivize emissions reductions. In reality, it is unclear to what extent that takes place unless the carbon price is very high. This is not to say that pricing carbon is useless, but the main benefits may take different forms. Basically, there are two ways of putting a price on carbon. …CONTINUE READING
The candidates are united on some issues, but divided or equivocal on others.
Yesterday, the Washington Post published a survey of the Democratic candidates’ positions on climate change. The differences between candidates probably don’t have a lot of immediate policy relevance, given the political and legal constraints on what a new president could accomplish. But they are very revealing about the direction of the Democratic Party today. The …CONTINUE READING
It’s the perfect time to talk about a carbon tax.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that taxes are the prices we pay for a civilized society. A carbon tax, if we ever get one, might turn out to be the price we pay for a sustainable planet. I’m not wedded to it as a tool for cutting carbon, and I don’t think it would …CONTINUE READING
Mapping a politically feasible roadmap towards a future, rigorous carbon pricing system
Carbon pricing is in the news right now—and not in a good way. Whether it is French protests over gas taxes, political challenges to Canada’s new federal carbon price system, voter rejection of a carbon price in Washington state, or (yet another) Australian government falling because of disputes over carbon pricing, the political challenges of …CONTINUE READING
Or how we can get effective climate policy without government intervention
I don’t usually respond to op-ed columns, but the column by Bret Stephens in the New York Times on climate policy yesterday is so …. foolish that I think it needs a response. And more to the point, the foolishness in the column can help illuminate some of the major problems that have developed as …CONTINUE READING
A response to William Nordhaus’s comments about how essential carbon taxes are to addressing climate change
William Nordhaus recently (and deservedly) won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his work on the economic implications of climate change and policies to respond to climate change. In the press coverage after the award, some comments were attributed to Nordhaus that I think are important to consider in more depth – in part because …CONTINUE READING
What Should Environmentalists Give Up – and Demand – For A Carbon Tax?
A nice editorial from the Los Angeles Times about the proposed carbon tax being offered by some Republicans under the front group Americans for Carbon Dividends, most notably former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz. Exxon-Mobil is even throwing $1 million into the effort — chump change for such a corporate behemoth. The Times …CONTINUE READING
Due to the latest tax bill, a carbon tax look like a great strategy when the Dems take power again.
Sooner or later, the Democrats will take control of Congress and the White House, just like the Republicans right now. That’s not a political prediction so much as a recognition that the wheel is bound to turn around at some point. At that point, they should give very serious consideration to the possibility of a …CONTINUE READING
Canada is setting a great example to its southern neighbor.
Despite our geographic proximity and close economic ties, Canada doesn’t get a lot of press attention in the U.S. But unknown to many, Canada has been taking aggressive steps forward in climate policy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected Trump’s decision in no uncertain terms: We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has …CONTINUE READING
Some day the Trump/Ryan/Pruitt era will end. We need to be ready to move forward.
Fighting the Trump/Ryan/Pruitt assault on environmental protection necessarily absorbs a huge amount of our energy. But eventually, the current conservative stranglehold on the national government will come to an end. Sooner or later, the government will once again come into more environmentally friendly hands. When that happens, we need to have practical, detailed proposals ready …CONTINUE READING