Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends:

  • Claire Meints (who is working on and for CarbonWA this summer, starting yesterday!) has suggested a couple of possible times for an in-person meeting in Seattle, location TBD. If you’d like to participate, please email me with your preferences and constraints for one or both of the following options: Thursday 6/20 at 6:00pm or Saturday 6/22 at 3:00pm. Stay tuned for more!
  • For inspiration, I recommend reading this NYT article on Citizens Climate Lobby. CCL has four active chapters in Washington State (Bainbridge, Port Orchard, Seattle, Whidbey) and continues to do great work with Congressional representatives, newspapers, &c in pushing for a federal carbon tax.

  • Also worth reading is “The Journey to a Price on Carbon” from Sightline’s 2012 Gratitude Report. (It’s PDF pages 8-9, or numbered pages 6-7, and for the sake of full disclosure I should note that I’m a supporter of and Fellow at Sightline and have been on that journey with Sightline since 1998, when I worked with Alan Durning on the book Tax Shift.)
  • On the wonky side of things, there’s a new CBO report on carbon taxes. It’s a good summary of the way economists think about climate change and carbon pricing and IMHO is likely to be a good preview for the Washington State study bill report that will be coming out in October. Key themes from the report are as follows, and note that the report focuses on carbon taxes but the key themes apply equally to auctioned cap-and-trade systems: (1) carbon pricing will raise the price of carbon (duh!); (2) a price of $20-$30 per ton CO2 is likely to reduce emissions by 5-10% in the short term; (3) the economic burden of a carbon tax is best offset by using the revenue to reduce existing taxes; (4) lump-sum rebates or certain other measures have the benefit of addressing regressivity but do not reduce the burden on the overall economy. (“[U]nlike using carbon tax revenue to reduce [marginal] tax rates… lump-sum payments [would] not increase people’s incentives to work or invest and thus would not lead to greater economic productivity.”) I would be pretty stunned if the consultants’ report in October didn’t reiterate these key themes.
  • On a semi-personal note: My co-author Grady Klein and I are inviting feedback on rough drafts of our next book, The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change. Follow the link if you’re interested in checking it out!

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