Earth Day is approaching, so let’s enter the realm of environmental fantasy.
Let’s pretend there’s any chance that Congress will take action on climate change in the foreseeable future.
If that magically happened, a carbon tax makes sense as the best option.
We’re already paying a price for the damage to the environment and public health caused by power plants and other pollution sources. A price on carbon dioxide emissions accounts for those costs while encouraging energy efficiency and cleaner energy production.
Some lawmakers have proposed using revenue from such a tax to reduce the deficit or help low-income consumers pay higher utility bills. But given the fact that Republicans are allergic to new taxes and government programs, a revenue-neutral carbon tax has emerged as an alternative supported by some conservatives.