carbon tax

Waxman/Whitehouse carbon tax draft

On Tuesday, Representative Waxman, Senator Whitehouse, Representaive Blumenauer and Senator Schatz released their proposal for a carbon tax bill. They are currently seeking feedback on the draft proposal, which is accordingly short on details. The Waxman/Whitehouse proposal is to require downstream emitters (mainly power plants and other emitters) to purchase annual “carbon pollution permits” per …

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How Not to Write About Keystone XL

I’ve always liked the work of New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, ever since his days as an investigative reporter for the Texas Monthly.  He doesn’t come to a topic with an axe to grind, and tries to see through the cant.  But I think he just got snookered. In Nocera’s recent column on the …

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Sanders/Boxer carbon tax

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer released today a pair of bills meant to increase the price of carbon in the United States.  (Bill summary; carbon tax bill; fuel subsidies bill) The “Climate Protection Act of 2013” would impose a fee of $20 per ton (carbon or methane equivalent) on coal, petroleum, natural gas and …

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More About the Distributional Impacts of a Carbon Tax

I’ve posted before about the equity effects of pricing carbon.  A new paper from Brookings provides further evidence on the subject.  The main conclusions are that a carbon tax is indeed regressive, but the problem could be fixed by spending about 10% of the proceeds on social welfare programs. The authors find that the direct …

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Put That In Your Tank and Smoke It

The next time anyone tells you that an increase in gasoline prices (say, as part of a carbon-tax or a cap-and-trade system) would generate unbearable costs to consumers, think again.  The Los Angeles Times reports something that I have often seen but never really thought through: gasoline stations often a couple block away from each …

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Natural Gas Fracking: Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

When George Washington Law School’s Richard Pierce talks about energy, I listen.  And a few days ago he posted a short piece with the provocative title, “Natural Gas Fracking Addresses All Of Our Major Problems.”  (emphasis in original!).  If you want to read the nutshell case for why fracking is good, then this is your …

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New Climate Denial Talking Point!

Or at least one that I’ve never heard before. On Friday night, I was lucky enough to be the “left” in a local version of NPR’s “Left, Right, and Center” with Matt Miller.  We did it at my local synagogue, where Miller (and I) are members.  The “right” was my old friend Larry Greenfield, who …

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Two Cheers for a Hybrid Sales + Carbon Tax

Dan’s thoughtful post on the Hybrid Sales + Carbon Tax is worth careful consideration.  My initial thought is that Dan underestimates it one way, but might overestimate it in two ways. I think he underestimates its political viability.  He argues that “voters don’t like taxes, and sales taxes are especially easy for them to notice …

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The Possible Merits of a Hybrid Sales+Carbon Tax

There’s been a lot of discussion of carbon taxes, which economists virtually all love.  Proposed carbon taxes would generally be imposed at the level of fossil-fuel sellers or importers, or when producers use carbon.  Imposing the carbon tax on consumers would have some significant advantages. This could be done with some fancy VAT-type mechanism, but …

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Putting a Cap on the Green Paradox

The Green Paradox holds that emission control measures scheduled for the future can backfire.  Foreseeing a smaller market in the future, fossil fuel sellers decide to unload more of their reserves now by cutting prices.  A recent report from Resources for the Future provides more details if you’re interested (though the details don’t matter for …

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