Argument: A carbon tax is a tax, so is more difficult politically

Issue Report: Cap-and-trade versus carbon tax


“Time to tax carbon: A carbon tax is the best, cheapest and most efficient way to combat cataclysmic climate change”. Los Angeles Times. 28 May. 2007: “There is a growing consensus among economists around the world that a carbon tax is the best way to combat global warming, and there are prominent backers across the political spectrum … Yet the political consensus is going in a very different direction. European leaders are pushing hard for the United States and other countries to join their failed carbon-trading scheme, and there are no fewer than five bills before Congress that would impose a federal cap-and-trade system. On the other side, there is just one lonely bill in the House, from Rep. Pete Stark (D-Fremont), to impose a carbon tax, and it’s not expected to go far. The obvious reason is that, for voters, taxes are radioactive, while carbon trading sounds like something that just affects utilities and big corporations. The many green politicians stumping for cap-and-trade seldom point out that such a system would result in higher and less predictable power bills. Ironically, even though a carbon tax could cost voters less, cap-and-trade is being sold as the more consumer-friendly approach.”

“Legislators…prefer a cap-and-trade system precisely because of its complexity — that complexity will serve to hide price increases from customers.”David Roberts, “Carbon tax catching on?” 4/3/07

“Support grows for globalising the EU carbon trading scheme”. Food Production Daily. June 14, 2007.