Institutional Scholarship

Cap and Trade or a Carbon Tax? How to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Show simple item record Klein, Matthew 2009-10-27T22:34:36Z 2009-10-27T22:34:36Z 2009
dc.description.abstract At this point, warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as evident from increases in average air and ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, and intense hurricane activity. Taking action now to prevent catastrophic climate change is both economically efficient and morally required. I propose the creation of a national cap and trade system to reduce our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions 80% by 2050, in line with scientists’ recommendations. I further propose to auction 100% of the emissions allowances, utilizing revenues in the form of tax reductions to limit the effect of electricity price increases on consumers, as well as in the form of investments in alternative energy research and infrastructure. The alternative proposal of a carbon tax is both simpler and easier to implement than cap and trade, but is ultimately inadequate because it fails to definitively prevent catastrophic climate change. In addition, a carbon tax would be harder to pass through Congress. Even cap and trade will be tough to pass without the use of the budget reconciliation process. China has shown that it is resistant to climate change mandates on national sovereignty grounds, but is willing to negotiate as long as the caps are not mandated. Ultimately, by limiting our emissions and developing our own alternative energy industry, we will develop new technologies that can be used in the developing world.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Political Science
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Global warming -- Economic aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Energy conservation -- Economic aspects -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh Energy policy -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh Fuel switching -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh Emissions trading -- Economic aspects -- United States
dc.title Cap and Trade or a Carbon Tax? How to Reduce CO2 Emissions
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access

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