carbon tax

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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Using a Carbon Tax to Decrease the Deficit

A carbon tax would provide an incentive to reduce the use of fossil fuels, fostering the growth of clean energy.  But it would have another benefit as well: providing revenue to help cut the deficit. Much the same effect could be produced by auctioning allowances within a cap-and-trade system. According to Resources for the Future, …

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Obama’s Dormant Carbon Tax

In many respects, public subsidies for clean technology research and development,  public investment in urban redevelopment, and elaborate cap-and-trade programs are all essentially clunky political substitutes for a carbon tax.  If we priced carbon accurately to reflect its true cost to society, in terms of public and environmental health impacts (aka “externalities”), much of this …

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When Do Economic Incentives Modify Behavior?

The Journal of Economic Perpspectives ought to be on any environmental law professor’s reading list — or really, anyone interested in environmental policy.  Thanks in no small part to the editorial wizardry of Managing Editor Timothy Taylor, it performs its mission — to “fill a  gap between the general interest press and most other academic …

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How Environmentalism Can Strengthen the Middle Class

At the end of an interesting and constructive piece, David Frum stumbles on the idea: [T]he U.S. needs to reconsider the way it finances Medicare and the Social Security retirement system. The payroll tax has become more and more important to U.S. finances since 1980. Before the crash, payroll taxes supplied almost 40% of all federal …

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Poll Results on Cap and Trade

I thought people might be interested in the results of our poll of readers on cap-and-trade: California has just adopted a cap and trade system. All things considered, do you think that cap and trade is the best strategy for controlling greenhouse gases? No, a carbon tax would be better. 56% Yes, cap and trade …

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The Case for Cap-and-Trade

Dan asked for a vote, and being a good Legal Planetary citizen, I responded — voting very reluctantly for cap-and-trade. The biggest difficulty, as is the case with most polls, lies in the phrasing of the question:  “all things considered” what is “the best strategy” for controlling greenhouse gases.  The problem with this locution — perhaps unavoidable …

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What is the Best Approach to Controlling Carbon? You Be the Judge.

There’s a lot of disagreement about the best approach to controlling carbon.  We thought it might be a good idea to find out what you, our readers, think about the issue.  Here’s a quick poll: [polldaddy poll=5632574]

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Pricing Carbon: How Would It Affect the Poor?

We need to put a price on carbon, but there is no reason why we should do so in a way that harms the poor.

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