Today, Representative Henry A. Waxman, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Representative Earl Blumenauer, and Senator Brian Schatz released draft carbon-pricing legislation and solicited feedback on it from stakeholders and the public. The legislation would establish the polluter pays principle for dangerous carbon pollution, requiring large emitters to pay for the pollution they emit.
The “discussion draft” released today contains a new and straightforward approach to putting a price on carbon pollution. The nation’s largest polluters would have to pay a fee for each ton of pollution they release. The legislation assigns responsibility for the assessment and collection of the carbon fees based upon the expertise that has already been developed by EPA and the Treasury Department. Under the discussion draft, EPA’s database of reported emissions would determine the amount of pollution subject to the fee. The Treasury Department would be responsible for the collection and handling of the fees. ...
The Members and Senators are soliciting comments on the discussion draft from stakeholders and the public. Although comments on any aspect of the draft are welcome, the Lawmakers are specifically requesting feedback on the following questions:
- What is the appropriate price per ton for polluters to pay? The draft contains alternative prices of $15, $25, and $35 per ton for discussion purposes.
- How much should the price per ton increase on an annual basis? The draft contains a range of increases from 2% to 8% per year for discussion purposes.
- What are the best ways to return the revenue to the American people? The discussion draft proposes putting the revenue toward the following goals, and solicits comments on how to best accomplish each: (1) mitigating energy costs for consumers, especially low-income consumers; (2) reducing the Federal deficit; (3) protecting jobs of workers at trade-vulnerable, energy intensive industries; (4) reducing the tax liability for individuals and businesses; and (5) investing in other activities to reduce carbon pollution and its effects.
- How should the carbon fee program interact with state programs that address carbon pollution?
All comments are welcome and can be submitted by email to email@example.com. The Lawmakers are requesting that comments be submitted no later than April 12, 2013.
Dang. I'll probably lose an afternoon working on my comments but here is the short version:
- $25 per ton, isn't that the consensus estimate for the social cost of carbon?
- the price per ton should rise at the rate of the social cost of carbon
- some combination of (1) and (2) -- if the tax is set to be equal to the social cost of carbon then there is no need for further incentives (right?)
- I haven't the foggiest ... to be continued.
Also, if you haven't thought of it yet, sending comments is a great activity for your environmental and resource economics students. I'll inform mine on Monday that they'll be doing this.