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Is it Time for a Carbon price?

Is it Time for a Carbon price?

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, January 4, 2015/Categories: sustainability, environment, climate change

Larry Summers, the former Treasury Secretary, White House economic consular, and president of Harvard, has called for placing a price on carbon while gas prices are at historic lows. His full opinion was published in the  Washington Post  this weekend. While there are many reasons to favor of pricing an environmental pollutant, Summer's clearly states the most important and is the clearest statement of the issue surrounding "environmental externalities":

“The core of the case for taxation is the recognition that those who use carbon-based fuels or products do not bear all the costs of their actions.”

Unfortunately, most economists have shirted this reality n their models for a long time with the stated reason being "environmental resources are too complicated to measure".  What Summers has done in this one sentence statement changes this and it should satisfy both conservatives and liberals alike.

By placing a set fee or one on an increasing scale for an environmental pollutant, allows consumers large and small to make decisions on a market price. This approach is what conservatives have always championed. Likewise, as carbon is included in the price of products from fossil fuel energy, agrochemicals, and innumerable manufactured goods, the environmental will not be the garbage bin for the waste products of that use, something liberals should champion.

What's not to like in Summer's concept? Maybe you should ask your representative in both the House and Senate as they take up there new session of making laws and regulations in state houses and Washington.



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