Shannon Wulf Tregar:
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan suffered a setback this week as the Supreme Court blocked the agency from requiring states to submit compliance plans until the program is reviewed by a lower court. Beyond the Clean Power Plan, and given polarized opinions on various regulatory approaches to tackling climate change, some argue that carbon emissions reductions would be better addressed by a carbon tax.
RFF experts discuss the issue:
- Marc Hafstead and Roberton C. Williams III find that a carbon tax is unlikely to reduce the number of jobs in the US economy. Instead, jobs will shift away from polluting industries toward cleaner ones, a transition that can be made smoother by sound policy design.
- Similarly, Chad stone notes that a climate rebate delivered through existing tax and benefit systems could “fully offset the impact of a carbon tax on the purchasing power of low- and moderate-income households."
- Gilbert Metcalf discusses how including a carbon tax in overall tax reform could “contribute to the overall efficiency of the tax system.”
I'm not sure why a carbon tax is considered less polarizing than any other U.S. policy proposal next to Obamacare, but while we're at it there is also something called cap-and-trade that is unlikely to reduce the number of jobs in the U.S. economy, could generate revenue and rebates. All of the Clean Power Plan critics who are now looking for alternatives, all 3 of them, could consider it as well.