carbon tax

Carbon Vouchers: A Small-Government Approach to Climate Action

How to limit climate change without giving the Feds enforcement powers or revenue.

What I’m going to sketch here isn’t a zero government approach. But the government’s role is very limited: federal agencies don’t do any enforcement and the government doesn’t touch any revenue from the scheme. So this approach deals with the concern that a carbon tax or something similar would either expand EPA’s ability to abuse …


Australia’s repeal of its carbon tax

A lot of (bad) environmental law news has been coming out of Australia recently. The new Liberal government has attempted to dump dredging spoils on the Great Barrier Reef and open up protected Tasmanian forests to logging. But most importantly, the government has repealed the carbon tax enacted by the prior Labor government. The Australian …


Solar Plus Storage May Be a Good Deal for Some

One company says that photovoltaics with battery storage are cost-competitive for some businesses now.

A battery company called Coda Energy says that a combination of solar photovoltaics and onsite storage can be cost-competitive with utility electric service for some larger customers. That is according to an online article on greentechgrid. Solar is still a more expensive option for power production than fuels such as natural gas, and various energy …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …