A national tax on carbon emissions would offer an opportunity for deficit reduction and/or tax reform, as well as climate change mitigation. Economists studying taxes on environmental harms, such as carbon emissions, often suggest that the tax be set according to the damage inflicted by the last unit of emissions. In the case of carbon, […]
Traditionally, the value created from pricing pollution has been directed to the regulated industry, an approach called “grandfathering.” However, there has been a growing trend, especially when pricing carbon emissions, toward auctioning emissions permits and the direct payment of emissions fees. These approaches are more consistent with the polluter pays principle and cast carbon revenues […]
The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington and the premier of British Columbia signed a climate pact on Monday that announced the intent of two new carbon prices: a cap-and-trade system in Washington and, likely, a carbon tax in Oregon. Prices on carbon in these states would add to pre-existing ones in California and British […]
California’s cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions took effect in January 2013, and as the period of enforcement unfolds, both regulated entities and the California Air Resources Board (which is responsible for the implementation and management of the program) are considering how best to manage costs within the system. Several cost containment measures are outlined […]
Though President Obama is set for a major address on climate tomorrow, US policy faces an uncertain future. EPA is moving haltingly ahead with regulations under the Clean Air Act (and may redouble its efforts after the speech), but some in Congress are pushing to revoke its authority. Others in Congress support new legislation setting […]
I recently testified before a California Senate Select Committee on the state’s climate policies about California’s interactions in the development of policy across the country and internationally. I highlighted the four main points below in my remarks, and you can read the full testimony here. California is not alone. It is joined by many other […]
When it comes to climate policy, it seems like pessimism is the only thing that rivals greenhouse gas emissions in terms of volume. Last week, the daily atmospheric content of CO2 popped up over 400 parts per million, pushing the stated goal of keeping worldwide temperatures to a 2˚C increase even further from reach. Beneath […]
Tax exemptions, industry rebates, and border tax adjustments can help protect the competitiveness of industries affected by a carbon tax, but they are not equally efficient at achieving economic and environmental goals. In the latest issue of Resources, Richard Morgenstern, Nathan Richardson, and I examine the issues. Read more here.
Economists have long recognized that linking carbon markets reduces the overall cost of achieving emissions reductions. This economic benefit originates from allowance flows between previously isolated markets that help identify and achieve emissions reductions in the most efficient way. Linking, however, provides non-economic benefits that can be just as important as efficient mitigation. In a […]
Incrementally aligning policies in distinct carbon markets—linking by degrees—can allow programs to experience immediate benefits of sharing best practices in program design. Together with colleagues at RFF and Yale, we’ve examined the details and prospects for the cap-and-trade programs in California and the Northeast. Read more here.