Carbon Pricing

Swapping the corporate income tax for a price on carbon

The attached policy study was co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan and Research Assistant Daniel Semelsberger. The corporate income tax and domestic carbon policy are two areas …

The anarchist case for climate action

A spate of recent articles have purported to offer the "conservative case for a carbon tax" or the "libertarian case for climate action," or some similar riff. R …

A carbon bargain for conservatives

Policies to restrict the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases already are a clear and present reality. Many conservatives might not agree with those ideas, but …

No, a child tax is not like a carbon tax

As a former philosophy major, I resent that the only time philosophers tend to get featured in the press is when they are saying something particularly ridiculous. For …

The lukewarm case for climate action

I usually try to avoid writing about the science of climate change. For one thing, it’s boring. Start writing about climate science, and the next thing you know, …

Democrats’ climate agenda deserves a conservative response

As the Democratic Party looks to advance what has been characterized as the “most progressive platform in the party's history,” there's never been a more urgent time for …

Six energy-policy reforms conservatives should embrace

The U.S. House demonstrated last week that the politics of climate solutions remain intractable. With bipartisan support, lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a resolution describing a carbon tax as, “not …

The Grand Oil Party: House Republicans denounce a carbon tax

From the Guardian: It’s odd that not a single House Republican voted against the Resolution, because as long as the revenue is returned to taxpayers (also known as “revenue …

Why Republicans should reconsider their blanket opposition to a carbon tax

As House Republicans take up a resolution declaring they are against ever considering the possibility of a carbon tax, it bears noting that there are good reasons for …

Conservative carbon tax backers see silver lining in house opposition

From InsideEPA.com: "We are having some traction, so that is why the politics are rearing their ugly head this week on the House floor condemning the carbon tax as a …

GOP to rule out carbon tax

From The Hill: Catrina Rorke, director of the energy program at R Street Institute — which supports a tax that would return revenues to taxpayers — said if Republicans …

House message: No carbon tax under Clinton

From Politico: Eli Lehrer, the president of the free-market think tank the R Street Institute, agreed. “In the long run, a carbon tax or something like it is probably …

Pro-carbon tax conservatives make their case ahead of House vote

From ClimateWire: A carbon tax "uses small-government principles," said Catrina Rorke, director of energy policy and senior fellow with conservative think tank the R Street Institute, during a call …

Letter to Congress: Oppose Congressman Scalise’s resolution on carbon taxes

Dear Member of Congress, Congressman Scalise (R-LA1) has sponsored a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the economy of the United …

Why the Supreme Court stay hasn’t stopped states’ CPP compliance plans

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy told lawmakers earlier this week that 25 states are still working on Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance plans. This may come as …

Would a President Trump make a deal on climate?

What would energy policy look like under a Donald Trump presidency? It’s a question worth considering. While the race to pick a Republican presidential nominee remains undecided, the …

Lehrer talks free-market environmentalism with The Energy Gang

R Street President Eli Lehrer sat down recently with Greentech Media's The Energy Gang podcast to discuss the institute's work on carbon pricing, the ongoing market transition to distributed sources …

Oregon energy bill is long on symbolism, short on smart policy

Oregon's S.B. 1547, signed into law last Friday by Gov. Kate Brown, has all the hallmarks of top-down, government-directed industrial policy. But when it comes to weighing costs …

With CPP on hold, what’s next?

A fortuitous 5-4 judgment by the Supreme Court puts on hold the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s greenhouse-gas-reduction program until the court has a chance to review the …

SCOTUS relieves nation from an EPA power grab

Last week, while all attention was focused on the New Hampshire primary, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order that could have far-reaching consequences for the destiny of …

U.S. Supreme Court blocks implementation of Obama’s carbon rule

In a 5-4 order, the conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of President Barack Obama's carbon rule while litigation is ongoing. The court issued the order …

R Street Institute statement on Supreme Court’s delay of Clean Power Plan

The following statement can be attributed to Catrina Rorke, director of energy policy for the R Street Institute: While it's unclear how the legal challenge will pan out, the …

Greens tangled in the Evergreen State’s political thicket

Washington state's environmental community continues to fail to escape the tangle of its own political allegiances, even when it comes to addressing a crisis that, by its own …

R Street welcomes former FERC analyst as electricity policy manager

WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2016) – R Street is pleased to announce the addition of Devin Hartman as electricity policy manager and senior fellow. In his new role, Hartman will conduct …

DC Circuit Court refuses to halt EPA’s carbon rule

If you thought the courts were coming to the rescue to stop President Barack Obama's greenhouse gas restrictions, think again. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. …

A conservative answer to climate change

The Paris climate change negotiations won’t end until later this week, but we already know what will happen. The parties will reach a toothless agreement pledging to reduce emissions …

The pitfalls of just saying ‘no’ to EPA’s carbon rule

If states like Alabama don't submit a carbon-reduction plan or request an extension by Sept. 6, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will impose what amounts to a …

The future is in the futures markets: an interview with Richard Sandor

Richard Sandor has a relatively painless solution to climate change. It relies on the financial markets, not onerous regulation. It even has a track record. He talked to …

How states can use the Clean Power Plan to cut taxes

With the latest round of climate talking getting underway, all eyes are on Paris. Yet back in the United States, states are already considering how to reduce greenhouse …

Texas shouldn’t wait to address EPA carbon rule

WASHINGTON (Nov. 18, 2015) – The option to use carbon fees to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan could produce enough revenue for Texas to …

The Texas Path: Preserving energy sovereignty to cut taxes

Texas faces some tough energy choices. Under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), Texas is expected by 2030 to have reduced carbon dioxide (CO2 ) …

Washington state could set conservative example on climate-change action

When it comes to climate-change action, conservatives like me find ourselves today in the same position we occupied during the health-care debate: opposition coupled with no alternative vision. …

Poll: Clean-energy issues pretty popular among conservative base

Some new findings on how conservative voters think about energy issues from a bevvy of top-tier GOP pollsters ought to be required reading for the eventual Republican presidential …

Using the Clean Power Plan’s carbon fee option to offset state taxes

Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of its Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units. Known colloquially …

Clean Power Plan begs for a better conservative response to pollution control

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Designed to curb U.S. carbon emissions, conservatives predictably don’t like the …

How the Clean Power Plan is like the Death Star

Trigger warning: Nerdy analogies; some discussion of taxes. On Monday, the Obama administration released the final version of its “Clean Power Plan,” which mandates a 32 percent reduction in …

SCOTUS’ mercury decision probably won’t end EPA overreach

Conservatives have spent the past month rejoicing over the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to appropriately account for industry costs when deciding to …

Tax pollution, not profits: a reply to Rep. John Delaney

The carbon tax is an elegant mechanism for imposing a price on carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector, especially when compared to the alternatives. The patchwork of federal …

How conservatives should deal with climate change

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery Climate of Confusion: How Should Conservatives Think About Climate Change? Co-Hosted by The R Street Institute and National Affairs The Rayburn Building Washington, D.C. July 6, 2015 In 1980, …

Why did the pope condemn carbon credits?

Last month, Pope Francis released Laudato Si, a papal encyclical devoted to environmental issues. The document combines reflections on environmental ethics from a religious perspective with background descriptions …

The moral case for fossil fuel taxes

One of the downsides of working in policy is that you end up hearing the same arguments over and over again. So I was excited to read Oren …

The GOP needs its own plan for climate change

The Obama administration’s ongoing campaign to regulate climate-change causing pollutants under the Clean Air Act deserves all of the withering criticism it has gotten from the political right. …

A practical approach to climate change

The attached policy study appeared in the Summer 2015 edition of National Affairs. Climate change resulting from human activity likely poses the biggest environmental risk modern society faces. Its …

Whether they like it or hate it, conservatives must look to California

The State of California is fun to mock, easy to condemn and, particularly for many conservatives and libertarians, simple to write off. A little perspective from outside the …

Testimony on Oregon carbon-pricing proposals

My name is Ian Adams and I am the Western region director of the R Street Institute. R Street is a non-profit, free-market think tank, headquartered in Washington, …

Cheap oil gets rid of subsidized oil in developing nations

William Goldman is best known as the screenwriter behind the films the Princess Bride and Marathon Man. He is also the author of a profound quote about business: Nobody knows …

The difference between wanting a carbon tax and getting one

Negotiation is the process by which value is determined by the intensity of the involved parties’ desires. The more that one party wants something the other controls, the …

Crafting a carbon tax Oregon conservatives can support

Three West Coast governors wrote recently of a regional model for addressing climate change. Each of their three states — California, Oregon and Washington — is taking a …

Virginia vs. the EPA?

The Obama administration’s recently announced Clean Air Act power-plant rules, advertised as helping to control the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, have almost nothing to recommend them. …

Our work speaks for itself

One of the more dispiriting trends of the political left in recent years has been the growing tendency to do battle, not by engaging with ideas, but through …

R Street responds to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report

WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2014) – Congress should heed today's warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to pursue effective mitigation and adaptation strategies to counter the risks …

A carbon tax won’t happen without some give from the left

Despite growing support from some conservative policy wonks, the idea of taxing carbon dioxide emissions, even as an alternative to the sort of heavy-handed greenhouse regulations promulgated by …

How the EPA should modify its proposed 111(d) regulations to allow states to comply by taxing pollution

The attached piece was co-authored with Michael Wara and Marta R. Darby of Stanford University. I. Introduction The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is exercising its authority under section 111(d) …

Why conservatives should support carbon taxation

Conservatives are conditioned to wince at the mention of the word "tax." Mention the term "carbon tax," and many will recoil altogether. Still, in the only place in …

Sanders on EPA carbon rules

R Street's Lori Sanders joined the American Action Forum's Douglas Holtz-Eakin and the Brookings Institution's Adele Morris in a panel discussion examined flaws in the structure of forthcoming …

The peculiar benefit calculation of EPA’s carbon rule

This week, the EPA held a field hearing in Atlanta regarding the Clean Power Plan proposed rule. Once final, the rule, by 2030, "would achieve CO2 emission reductions from the …

R Street disappointed by EPA greenhouse gas rules

WASHINGTON (June 2, 2014) – New carbon emissions regulations proposed today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are likely to prove expensive and damaging to a still-fragile economic …

R Street encouraged by draft bill offering alternatives to EPA regulation

WASHINGTON (May 21, 2014) - The R Street Institute welcomed today's release of a discussion draft of legislation empowering states to adopt market-based solutions as a substitute for …

Showtime series highlights R Street carbon tax debate

The makers of the Showtime series Years of Living Dangerously shot some footage of the carbon tax debate we hosted last June, pitting R Street Executive Director Andrew …

Comments to EPA on greenhouse gas emissions

The following comments by R Street Policy Analyst Lori Sanders were delivered at the Environmental Protection Agency's Nov. 7 public listening session on regulation of carbon emissions from …

What the Australian elections mean (and don’t mean) for climate policy and the left

As a right-wing Republican, I consider newly elected Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott a man after my own heart. He wants to deregulate his country's economy, protect the …

Climate change: It’s time for a conservative alternative

President Barack Obama's climate agenda announced in June 2013 represents the latest of many Democratic Party efforts to address climate change. Although it includes no new legislation, the …

Salam talking carbon taxes on Business Insider

R Street Senior Fellow Reihan Salam discusses the potential for a carbon tax with Josh Barro of Business Insider, as well as the prospects that Republicans would ever …

Republicans need a new game plan on climate change

There’s no reason for conservatives and libertarians to celebrate President Barack Obama’s recently announced climate change plan. While Obama does seek to confront a real problem, his plan …

Climate change for the GOP

It’s time for a conservative alternative to liberal alarmism. President Barack Obama’s climate agenda announced last week represents the latest of many Democratic party efforts to address climate change. …

R Street wins carbon tax debate with Heritage Foundation and Heartland Institute

On June 13, 2013, the R Street Institute hosted a debate with the Energy & Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Heartland Institute on the question, "Are …

R Street suggests conservative alternative to Obama climate plan

WASHINGTON (June 25, 2013) -- The R Street Institute today urged conservatives to support market-based alternatives to the flawed climate policy approach outlined by President Barack Obama in …

Climate change: Conservatives make the argument for a carbon tax

The following piece was co-authored with Bob Inglis, the founder and executive director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative. If conservatives don't begin to engage on the important issue …

Why you just may come to like a carbon tax

Tax reform may involve simplifying the tax code, but actually achieving such a thing promises to be a terrifyingly complicated process. The battle over how (and by how …

Time for a carbon tax?

The New York Times reports that the EU Parliament has elected to not remove carbon tax credits from the market, despite the price plunging from a peak of …

The right way to eliminate state income taxes

Even as the newly reelected president calls for ever-bigger government, a tax-slashing season has started in some Republican-leaning states. Efforts to eliminate or significantly cut state income taxes …

The ‘open for business’ tax plan

It’s not hard to find people in Washington who say they favor something called “fundamental tax reform.” President Barack Obama, for example, loves talking about the idea. In …

A tax we could learn to love

Global emissions of carbon dioxide hit a record high in 2011, scientists from the Global Carbon Project reported last week. Another record is expected in 2012. The earth continues to …

Of hurricanes, insurance, mitigation and carbon taxes

I’m in New Orleans at a conference on Preparing the Gulf Coast for Extreme Weather. Its lead sponsor is a reinsurer; the Institute for Building and Home Safety …

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