Politics Why a price is right for carbon
Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — NASA wants a nuclear reactor on the moon
Today is Monday. Welcome to Equilibrium, a newsletter that tracks the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. As we bicker over best ways to power the planet, NASA is looking to light up our nearest lunar locale, The Associated Press (AP) reported. NASA, together with the Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory, has put out a call for proposals for a nuclear fission surface power system on the moon. Both agencies hope to providing a sustained, sun-independent power source for potential human habitation of the moon - or even Mars, according to the AP.
In their new budget plan, Senate Democrats call for a tax on imports from high-emitting countries, but they lack a carbon price at home.
, taxing carbon domestically is the best weapon against climate change. Accounting for the price of pollution would incentivize the prompt development of affordable technologies necessary to lower emissions. But the idea of pricing carbon in America still receives political pushback. Properly understood, however, this solution doesn't require conservatives or liberals to sacrifice their principles. In fact, a comprehensive carbon tax is the best way to simultaneously slash global emissions and spur U.S. competitiveness.
Daily on Energy: The climate measures in the bipartisan infrastructure deal
Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Default Image - July 2021 CLIMATE DOWNPAYMENT: The Senate voted yesterday to advance a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package ($550 billion in new spending) after weeks of stalled efforts to reach a bipartisan deal, with 17 Republicans supporting the agreement.
Liberals have supported pricing carbon stateside before. But many on the left are now deriding a carbon tax as a half-measure. On the left there's an understandable temptation to regulate and mandate to a cleaner future. But regulations and mandates and can even be outperformed by the market alone.
Consider the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. It aimed for a 32 percent reduction of power sector emissions by 2030, yet it ran into legal obstacles (a common problem for regulations) and was never implemented. Regardless, because of market forces and the clean-energy transition already underway, the power sector before 2020!
Regulations and mandates also can't be exported. Climate change is a problem for the whole world - not just the United States. So, any proposal for reducing emissions must provide a way to lower them everywhere, not just within our borders.
Cutting industry emissions — another reason Senate must pass Build Back Better Act
Getting this bill through the House was just the first hurdle. Now the deal must be sealed with the U.S. Senate. The Senate must seize the narrow window of opportunity to do the right thing for the sake of the economy, and the health and well-being of all Americans. This is an opportunity the country can't afford to miss.Dan Lashof is the director of World Resources Institute, United States. Follow him on Twitter: @DLashofAngela Anderson is the director of Industrial Innovation and Carbon Removal at World Resources Institute. Follow her on Twitter: @angelausThis piece has been updated.
That's the beauty of pricing carbon and using a border adjustment to hold other countries accountable. The border adjustment would add the same carbon tax to imports from countries that don't price pollution, ensuring that foreign producers own up to their emissions, too.
Some on the left also say the market can't be trusted for equitable outcomes. Yet it's hard to argue with the market's ability to hasten the arrival of desperately needed products. Just look at the remarkable vaccines, produced in record time, that are lifting the world out of the pandemic's grim shadow. The innovative energy technologies that will dramatically and affordably lower global emissions haven't been invented yet. But a tax on carbon in the United States will accelerate their arrival.
Video: Would love to see voluntary carbon price commitment among G-7: WBCSD (CNBC)
All of this talk about innovation sounds great to Republicans, yet many are reluctant to embrace pricing carbon - which would optimize it. Some on the right say that taxing carbon will hurt American competitiveness and raise the cost of energy.
US forests hold climate keys
Climate change is solvable if we act now by increasing carbon stored in natural ecosystems.Alarmingly, global deforestation is occurring at a rate of 27 football fields every minute of each day. Recognizing this loss, President Biden pledged that the United States will "help the world halt natural forest loss and restore at least an additional 494 million acres by the year 2030.
Far from harming American competitiveness, pricing carbon would ensure that the United States is . America is the least carbon intensive producer of many goods.
provided by the Climate Leadership Council quantifies this fact: "The U.S. steel industry is 75% - 320% more carbon efficient than global producers, depending on the product segment." The study even concluded that adding a carbon tax and border adjustment would decrease imports and increase sales of U.S. steel.
American leadership extends beyond steel. The Department of Energy that Russian exports of natural gas to Europe emit over 40 percent more than U.S. LNG exports to Europe. That's Russian gas traveling a short distance and American gas crossing an ocean!
On top of helping U.S. manufacturing and exports, pricing carbon doesn't have to raise costs. That's because a carbon tax could be paired with reducing income or payroll taxes. Americans wouldn't be worse off if we priced carbon; they could benefit from bigger paychecks, a stronger economy and healthier environment.
Liberals worry about a carbon tax's efficacy and the free market's equity. But pricing carbon here is a global solution that will expedite energy breakthroughs faster than government alone ever could - and a tax will avoid the lawsuits and endless delays that cling to regulations.
Conservatives fear that pricing carbon could harm U.S. industry and increase energy prices. But a carbon tax would reward America's remarkably low-emitting products and could be offset by eliminating other taxes.
It's time to listen to what economists on both sides of the aisle have to say: a price is right for carbon in this country.
Former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis (1993-1999; 2005-2011) leads republicEn.org, a growing group of conservatives who care about climate change.
EU pitches new plan to battle global deforestation from home .
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Wednesday pitched a new plan for the bloc's citizens to battle global deforestation from home, offering assurances that a sip of coffee or bite of chocolate will not have come at the cost of trees. Following up on deforestation commitments made at the recent COP26 climate meeting on global warming, the 27-nation EU is proposing that companies must ensure that products for sale in the market of 450 million people do not harm forests elsewhere. © Provided by Associated Press Malaysia Climate COP26 Photo Feature “We must take the responsibility to act at home,” EU Vice President Frans Timmermans said.