WASHINGTON, DC -- With the COP-21 starting 14 days from now in Paris, the Partnership for Responsible Growth (PRG) today circulated 14 quotes in support of a carbon fee (or tax).
“We strongly believe that such a fee is the quickest and most efficient way to counter climate change, and every day more people seem to agree,” said George T. Frampton, Jr., co-founder of PRG. “It’s also important to bear in mind that even if EPA’s Clean Power Plan survives judicial and legislative attacks, it will not enable us to reach our emissions pledge.”
The quotes are from ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and 11 others.
A one-year-old nonprofit, PRG is encouraging Congress to enact a revenue-neutral carbon fee and use half the proceeds to reduce the corporate tax rate, now the highest in the industrial world, from 35 to 25 percent. The rest could be refunded to low- and middle-income consumers.
“After talking individually with 175 members of Congress, or their aides, we believe that this creative compromise can pass in 2017,” said Frampton.
“The solution (to climate change) can be a fundamentally conservative one that will empower the marketplace to find the most efficient response. We can do this by putting a price on emissions of carbon dioxide — a carbon tax…. Putting a price on emissions will create incentives to develop new, cleaner energy technologies.”
--Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, The New York Times, June 21, 2014
“It is just the right moment to introduce carbon taxes.”
--Christine Lagard, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, ABC, October 7, 2015
“We were told it would destroy the economy and we’d never get elected again, but we’ve won two elections since (our carbon tax) was enacted… It’s the revenue neutrality that really makes it work. We collected C$1.2 billion last year and a little bit more was returned.”
--Mary Polak, British Columbia’s Minister of Environment, 20th conference of parties to the U.N. Convention on Climate Change, The New York Times, December 12, 2014
“Advocating a carbon tax is not some kind of argument for government planning; it is the logic of the market: That which is not paid for is overused. Even if the government had no need or use for revenue, it could make the economy function better by levying carbon taxes and rebating the money to taxpayers…Conservatives who believe in the power of markets should favor carbon taxes on market principles.”
--Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, The Washington Post, January 4, 2014
"We have held the view that a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the best option. (It) could be a workable policy framework for countries around the world. They can tailor it to their own economic conditions."
--ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Reuters, October 7, 2015
“I think if you ask me to choose the most important work in climate change issues, then I’ll choose carbon price. That’s because it is the driver to put us into the right track.”
--Hoesung Lee, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, The Climate Brief, September 15, 2015
“You can have growth that will protect the planet and decouple carbon emissions from growth. We can get it now, but it would be much easier if we put a price on carbon… When I meet business leaders from the very carbon-intensive industries, their openness to a carbon price is striking. They say, ‘let’s do it’.”
--Jim Yong Kim, president, World Bank, The Guardian, April 13, 2015
“People are afraid that (a carbon tax) is an excuse to raise taxes and expand government generally. We need to convince them this not a tax increase but a tax shift.”
-- N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard University, George W. Bush’s top economic adviser, The New York Times, October 13, 2015
“A straight-up, revenue-neutral carbon tax clearly is our first-best policy, rewarding an infinite and unpredictable variety of innovations by which humans would satisfy their energy needs while releasing less carbon into the atmosphere.”
--Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2015
“Let’s level the playing field for competing sources of energy so that costs imposed on the community are borne by the sources of energy that create them, most particularly carbon dioxide. A carbon tax, starting small and escalating to a significant level on a legislated schedule, would do the trick. I would make it revenue-neutral, returning all net funds generated to the taxpayers so that no fiscal drag results and the revenue would not be available for politicians to spend on pet projects.”
--Former Secretary of State George Shultz, The Washington Post, March 13, 2015
“Once people have to pay for their emissions, they find ingenious ways of reducing them.”
--Cornell Professor Robert H. Frank, The New York Times, August 2, 2014
“What we and a number of our colleagues believe is that a better way to price the externality of carbon and create a more level playing ﬁeld is to pass a comprehensive and transparent national revenue-neutral carbon tax (RNCT) that would displace much of the existing energy and environmental regulatory maze.”
--Thomas F. Stephenson, Board Member and Energy Policy Task Force Member, Hoover Institution, December 2, 2014
“Price carbon to save the planet if that pleases you; price carbon to permit growth-enhancing reforms to our tax code if that pleases you; price carbon both to save the planet and to reform the tax structure, if that is your pleasure. But price it.”
--Irwin Stelzer, The Weekly Standard, May 7, 2015
“A more efficient method of limiting global warming than regulatory controls such as proposed by the President (and that as described promise to be a bureaucratic nightmare) would be a tax on carbon emissions, which I advocated in my 2005 book and which a number of countries have adopted.”
--Richard Posner, University of Chicago, The Becker-Posner Blog, July 7, 2013