Groups working with Republicans on climate are discouraged, but see a glimmer of hope
The R Street Institute is a free market think tank that has likewise made the conservative case for a revenue-neutral carbon tax. The group’s president Eli Lehrer believes the chances of carbon tax legislation would have been low regardless of the election outcome. As he told me:
A carbon tax would be a possibility in the context of broad tax reform and if such reform moves forward as it may, I suppose there is some chance it could be part of a package … A carbon tax per se is not highly likely and is not something we plan to push ourselves right now but it is not impossible either.
R Street Energy Policy Director Catrina Rorke elaborated where she sees opportunities in cutting carbon pollution under the incoming government:
We’re focused on streamlining regulatory barriers to entry to electricity markets, an obstacle that plagues emerging and advanced technologies with characteristics quite different from their predecessors. We also think we can make major strides in updating the way the federal regulatory machine works, given that the underlying legislation is outdated and insufficiently flexible … If politics is the art of the possible, we’re really going to see some interesting things happen — for governance and for the climate.