Flirting with a carbon tax

The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and Nature review the current American discussion of a carbon tax.

“The time seems ripe for this discussion. The president is committed both to raising tax revenue and to dealing with climate change. A carbon tax kills two birds with one stone,” said Gregory Mankiw, a Harvard economist who advised the Romney campaign and has long pushed for more efficient taxation, including a carbon tax.

Al Gore calls on President Obama to implement a carbon tax. The Brookings Institution tables a proposal. And a Treasury Department official invites Republicans to get behind the idea.

“If this is going to be an issue that is part of discussions, there will have to be some interest shown by Republicans if we are going to make any progress,” Gilbert E. Metcalf, the Treasury Department’s deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy, told reporters.

“The administration has not proposed a carbon tax nor is it planning to, but if there is, as part of fiscal reform discussions, there are a lot of pieces on the table, and if Republicans see this as a viable piece, then it could be part of the mix,” he said.

See previously Meanwhile, in the United States, A carbon-tax swap? and ‘A carbon tax should be atop the list’.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.