Washington Post: Carbon Taxes Do Work

Dear Editor,

If letter-writer Blane Morse wants to give nuclear power a boost, he should be singing the praises of a carbon tax instead of criticizing it [“Nuclear power, not a carbon tax, can stop global warming,” letters, Nov. 1]. Today, nuclear power is not cost-competitive in part because we subsidize fossil fuels, which do not cover their external costs. Impose a carbon fee at a significant level ($30 or more) to remove that subsidy, and nuclear would become competitive again.

Cigarette taxes and gasoline prices are just two examples of how consumption declines when items cost more. Mr. Morse claimed that there’s no evidence that a carbon fee works, but British Columbia has had one since 2008 and has seen emissions decline. Our new Congress and president should follow British Columbia’s example, price carbon and put the free market to work to rationalize our energy choices, strengthen our economy and combat climate change. 

William C. Eacho, Washington

The writer, a retired ambassador, is a partner in and co-founder of Partnership for Responsible Growth.