This presentation was hosted by Atlantic Council on 7 September as an ELEEP Luncheon entitled “Carbon Tax: A Bipartisan Debate” on the pros and cons of a US carbon tax in the context of the upcoming elections. The event was moderated by 2015/2016 ELEEP Fellow Sarah Hunt. Panelists included Adele Morris (Policy Director, Climate and Energy Economics, Brookings Institution), Dr. David Kreutzer (Senior Research Fellow, Center for Data Analysis, The Heritage Foundation) and David Koranyi (Director, Energy Diplomacy Initiative, Atlantic Council).
Discussion surrounded the political feasibility of levying a carbon tax in the United States as well as the actual need for, and efficacy of, pricing carbon as a tool to mitigate climate change and accelerate decarbonization of the American economy. Fellows were treated to a spirited debate that featured voices from across the climate-energy spectrum, including those that objected to the premise that climate change was significantly threatening or well enough understood to warrant proactive mitigation-focused regulation on carbon at the expense of needed economic growth. The discussion also highlighted both conservative and democratic economic philosophy and approaches to regulating carbon in the climate of a US election year, illustrating that there is, in-fact, room for consensus on this issue despite the political division in America.