How Is the US Pricing Carbon? How Could We Price Carbon?
This working paper summarizes the remarks of Joe Aldy, Dallas Burtraw, Carolyn Fischer, Meredith Fowlie, Rob Williams, and Maureen Cropper on carbon pricing in the United States during their panel convening at the 2022 meetings of the American Economic Association.
Economists have for decades recommended that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases be taxed—or otherwise priced—to provide incentives for their reduction. The United States does not have a federal carbon tax; however, many state and federal programs to reduce carbon emissions effectively price carbon—for example, through cap-and-trade systems or regulations. There are also programs that subsidize reductions in carbon emissions. At the 2022 meetings of the American Economic Association, the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis brought together five well-known economists—Joe Aldy, Dallas Burtraw, Carolyn Fischer, Meredith Fowlie, and Rob Williams—to discuss how the United States does, in fact, price carbon and how it could price carbon. Maureen Cropper chaired the panel. This paper summarizes their remarks.
Joseph E. Aldy
Joe Aldy is a university fellow at RFF and professor of the practice of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. His research focuses on climate change policy, energy policy, and mortality risk evaluation.
Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow
Dallas Burtraw is the Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow at RFF. Burtraw’s research includes analysis of the distributional and regional consequences of climate policy and the evolution of electricity markets, including renewables integration.
Nonresident Senior Fellow
Carolyn Fischer is a senior fellow at RFF. Fischer's research explores questions of environmental policy instrument design.
University of California, Berkeley
Roberton C. Williams III
Rob Williams is a senior fellow at RFF. He studies both environmental policy and tax policy, with a particular focus on interactions between the two.
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