A U.S. Carbon Tax: The Rest of the Story

Washington, DC

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In the policy debate over a carbon tax and energy-sector regulations, those arguing for greater government intervention often claim that their position represents the “consensus” of the scientific community. Yet when we leave the natural sciences and turn to the economics of climate change, we find that the peer-reviewed literature contains many inconvenient truths for the U.S. policy debate, particularly for those conservative groups claiming that a “revenue-neutral carbon tax swap” will boost economic growth.

Each member of IER’s panel will give a 20-minute discussion relevant to his area of expertise, and show that the American public has been misinformed on the economics literature assessment of a U.S. carbon tax. Taking into account political realities, in addition, a unilateral U.S. carbon tax would not deliver on the promises of its supporters. A general Q&A session will follow the prepared remarks.

Panelists include:

Dr. Robert Bradley, IER Founder -- Bradley will moderate the event and place each presentation in the context of the broader policy debate.

Dr. Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph, Ontario. -- McKitrick will address the question of whether a carbon tax coupled with "revenue recycling," or using the funds to pay for other tax reductions, can lead to a "double dividend," namely environmental benefits plug net economic growth.

Dr. Kenneth Green, Senior Director of Energy and Natural Resource Studies at the Fraser Institute -- Green will discuss his conversion from a carbon tax advocate and will point out ways that a promises of a U.S. carbon tax will likely go unfulfilled.

Dr. David Kreutzer, Research Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change, Heritage Foundation -- Kreutzer will outline the particular assumptions and flaws used in models that generate apparent net benefits from a U.S. carbon tax.

Dr. Robert Murphy, IER Senior Economist -- Murphy will discuss the social cost of carbon, which is the theoretical basis for calibrating a carbon tax at a particular level and which is being used by regulatory agencies when performing cost-benefit calculations.