Earth Day Planted Seeds for Action on Climate. Is a Carbon Tax a Good Idea?

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April 27, 2016

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Environmental Leader

"'Supporters believe that an economy-wide, revenue-neutral carbon tax might gain bipartisan support as an efficient way to limit greenhouse gas emissions if revenue were used in large measure to reduce the corporate income tax,' says Brian Flannery, with Resources for the Future in Washington, DC. 'While trade-related effects are likely to be small, legislation must also address concerns from labor and business in specific sectors and regions where manufacturing, jobs, and emissions will shift to nations with less-stringent controls.' He goes on to say that, surprisingly, the economic effect for many larger industrialized like the United States are 'quite small.' The greatest risk of the carbon tax, he continues, is to alienate the developing nations. A piece in the Wall Street Journal says that prior research performed by Resources for the Future and Stanford University concluded that a $45 per ton tax on carbon would achieve around 80 percent of what Obama wants by 2025. Beyond that, the story says that it becomes too iffy to even speculate given the advances in technology."


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