energy

The Case Against a U.S. Carbon Tax

The actual economics of climate change, as summarized in the peer-reviewed literature reveals that the case for a U.S. carbon tax is weaker than the carbon tax proponents claim. Both in theory and in practice, economic analysis shows that the overall case for a U.S. carbon tax is weak.

In recent years, several vocal intellectuals and political officials on the right have begun pitching a carbon tax to libertarians and conservatives. They argue that climate science respects no ideology and that a carbon tax is a market solution far preferable to the top-down regulations that the left will otherwise implement.

An actual critical analysis of the real-world carbon tax experiences in Australia and British Columbia show that the promises of a market-friendly U.S. carbon tax were violated in both scenarios. Even in the case of British Columbia—hailed by carbon tax advocates as the best example to date of such a policy—after an initial drop the tax has not yielded significant reductions in gasoline purchases, whereas it has apparently reduced the BC economy’s performance relative to Canada.

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