Argument: A carbon tax requires substantial government monitoring

Issue Report: Cap-and-trade versus carbon tax


Eileen Claussen (president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change) and Judith Greenwald (director of innovative solutions at the Pew Center). “Handling Climate Change”. Miami Herald. 12 July 2007 – “Under a carbon tax, emitters are required to pay a tax for every ton of pollution they emit. Neither system is inherently more complex than the other. Both require monitoring and enforcement — to determine taxable emissions and to guarantee payment in the case of a tax, or to ensure that allowances match overall emissions in the case of cap-and-trade. Both approaches also must address the question of how to distribute costs and benefits. For cap-and-trade, that means figuring out how to distribute and/or auction emission allowances; under a tax, it means figuring out who pays and what to do with the revenue. Yes, under a cap-and-trade program, exemptions and special treatment are possible, and even likely. But the same goes for a tax. Only someone who has never filled out a tax form or helped write a tax bill could expect a tax to be simpler than cap-and-trade.”