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Cap and Trade in China: How Might It Work?

China plans to start a nationwide cap-and-trade market in 2016. But can China, whose economy still contains many nonmarket features, properly design and implement a fundamentally market-based policy? In our new RFF discussion paper, my coauthors (RFF’s Richard Morgenstern, Zhongmin Wang, and Xu Liu) and I attempt to answer this question by examining cap-and-trade pilot […]

How US Gridlock May Handicap Climate Leadership

Next week, world leaders will meet at the United Nations in New York City at the invitation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss actions the leaders will take to limit their country’s emissions of greenhouse gases in an effort to forestall global climate change. For many, success of […]

Tax Inversions and Carbon Taxes

Because the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, firms can save billions of dollars by attaining a new corporate address in a low-tax country without physically relocating any of their existing business. To do so, American firms simply need to acquire a foreign firm and reincorporate the newly formed company abroad. […]

Mixing and Matching Electricity Sector Policies

A number of concerns have emerged over the last decade about climate change, energy security, and energy efficiency, inspiring an equally long list of proposed policy fixes. The majority of these options, including renewables subsidies, performance standards, and emissions pricing schemes, apply directly to the power sector. Lawmakers can also choose to implement multiple policies […]

Recycling Revenue from a Carbon Tax

A national tax on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is a cost-effective and efficient tool to achieve environmentally beneficial emissions reductions that will generate billions of dollars per year in revenue for the US government. These carbon revenues can serve a range of purposes. They can pay for energy efficiency investments; they can finance cuts in […]

Solving Carbon Tax Competition Issues

Whether you’re designing a carbon tax or experimenting with a cap-and-trade policy, carbon pricing affects all participants differently. Potential inequality under a carbon tax has been a particular concern for energy-intensive, trade-exposed (EITE) sectors, whose energy-heavy processes and competitive global markets make them particularly vulnerable to carbon pricing disparities across countries. Politicians acting in the […]

Cap and Trade in California: Cost Management

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 […]

The New CAFE Standards: Are They Enough on Their Own?

The new CAFE standards may require complementary policies to meet the ambitious goals of reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In a new RFF discussion paper, I examine the new footprint standards, their implications for changes to the size mix of vehicles, and the role of credit policies on compliance and cost-effectiveness of the […]

Resources Magazine: Ensuring Competitiveness under a US Carbon Tax

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.

Policy Options for Addressing Carbon Tax Impacts to Households

Carbon pricing remains the strongest option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. But such a policy still faces serious political hurdles in part because of the perception that a carbon tax would most negatively impact the poor. Clayton Munnings and I address the potential of a carbon tax to actually be progressive […]