The Conservative Case for a Carbon Tax

In February, a group of elder statesmen of the Republican Party, including two former Secretaries of State and Secretaries of Treasury, George Shultz and James Baker, proposed a politically ambitious plan for Republican leadership on climate change by pricing carbon emissions. “The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends” seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by internalizing climate costs associated with fossil fuels, while simultaneously encouraging innovation and US dominance in the emerging clean energy market. The proposal has four main pillars: a rising fee on carbon dioxide emissions; return of the revenue to all Americans in the form of a quarterly dividend; border adjustments for both imports and exports to maintain American competitiveness; and a significant rollback of redundant government regulations, including an “outright repeal of the Clean Power Plan”. By relying on market competition to preserve choice for both businesses and schools, and by reducing the level of government interference, the Carbon Fee-and-Dividend policy is a prime example of effective conservative economics. It would be a straightforward, principled, conservative solution to this century’s biggest challenge, and as such should as such be endorsed by the next generation of Princeton conservatives ... Read More