Getting to the Right Carbon Price

Getting to the Right Carbon Price

Energy Policy Now logo
A power plant releasing emissions
February 19, 2019

Bipartisan carbon pricing proposals have started to appear at the national level, which begs a question: what’s the right price for carbon?  An advisor to California and RGGI carbon markets offers insights.

Over the past two years, the idea of putting a price on carbon has gathered new and often unexpected support from across the political spectrum. In 2017 a group of former Republican leaders offered up a proposal for a national carbon tax. This January, top economists including all of the living former Federal Reserve Chairs pledged their support for such a plan on the Op-Ed page of the Wall Street Journal. 

While Congress has remained polarized, carbon pricing proposals have recently emerged from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. And oil companies such as Exxon and Shell now publicly support a carbon price.

Guest Dallas Burtraw, an advisor to carbon cap and trade programs in California and the Eastern U.S., discusses one of the most challenging and controversial aspects facing any effort to price carbon: getting the carbon price right. When done correctly, carbon pricing can speed greenhouse emissions reductions and fuel economic growth. Yet carbon cap and trade markets, which have been operating for over a decade in Europe and the US, have at times struggled with pricing, highlight the challenges likely to face future carbon pricing efforts.

More Like This

Blog Post | October 3, 2018 The Inevitable Policy Response Theory
Podcast | March 20, 2018 Lessons from a Decade of Cap & Trade