"Bill Eacho, Former U.S. Ambassador and CEO, and Founder of the Partnership for Responsible Growth, discusses the state of climate policy and its business implications. Part of ClimateCAP: The Global MBA Summit on Climate, Capital, & Business. Hosted in 2018 at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business in partnership with 16 leading business schools."
By George T. Frampton Jr., Co-founder of the Partnership for Responsible Growth.
A Pigouvian tax. That’s the common-sense response to Fred Hiatt’s plea in his Feb. 12 op-ed, “Don’t celebrate the budget deal. It imperils America,” that Congress “fund” the nation’s priorities. Such a levy, named for British economist Arthur Pigou, is intended to correct an inefficient market outcome.
We subsidize the burning of carbon. We all pay later for lung cancer, asthma, heart disease and the lost productivity resulting from these diseases. Its price does not include the costs of more frequent and more intense hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters that climate change is exacerbating.
By honestly pricing carbon, we could accelerate the inevitable transition to clean energy and reduce carbon’s increasingly high costs to society. Doing so would provide a second benefit: A $49-per-metric-ton fee, increasing by 2 percent a year over inflation, would generate $2.1 trillion over 10 years. Even after rebating a portion of that to lower- and middle-income households to compensate them for slightly higher energy costs, there would still be more than $1 trillion left to reduce the fast-rising national debt and address our infrastructure needs.
By William C. Eacho, co-founder of the Partnership for Responsible Growth
We may not be as vulnerable as our friends in Florida, but Mainers are likely to pay a heavy toll as the climate continues to change. A recent climate assessment by federal scientists concluded that the largest increase in intensity and frequency of heavy precipitation will be in the Northeast.
Sea levels already have risen 7 to 8 inches globally since 1900, with 3 inches of that probably since 1993. That is a rate not seen in any century for at least 2,800 years. The Northeast has and will experience sea level rise greater than the global average, scientists say.
Letter to the Editor
Wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, heat wave. It’s time to take action on climate change, and residents of Michigan’s largest congressional district should be pleased that their representative in Congress, Jack Bergman, has just joined the House Climate Solutions Caucus. He is the first member from Michigan.
Many people think that all Republicans are climate change skeptics. In fact, half of the 60 members of this caucus are Republicans.
Their interest in this challenge reflects growing concern in the party. For example, 62 percent of Trump voters support taxing and/or regulating the pollution that causes global warming, according to a Yale survey, and that was before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston.
If we are to make significant progress on climate change, this caucus will have to provide some of the leadership.
We hope that Congressman Bergman can help persuade his colleagues to engage in the art of compromise that legislators are paid to perform. Here’s one idea for this fall: To pay for tax cuts, enact a carbon fee to accelerate the shift to clean energy.
George T. Frampton, Jr.
Co-founder, Partnership for Responsible Growth
The reform plan released this week by President Trump and congressional leaders doesn’t mention the highly controversial idea of a carbon tax, but analysts believe there’s a real opportunity for Democrats to push for fees on emissions as part of a broader, once-in-a-generation compromise on taxes.
With a sweeping overhaul of the tax code on the horizon, two Senate Democrats believe this is the moment to broach the third rail of climate change policy: a carbon tax.
The plan by the senators, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, to level a $49 per metric ton fee on greenhouse gas emissions is widely acknowledged as a long shot. But the lawmakers, along with climate activists and a cadre of conservative supporters, insist the tax reform is a way to create bipartisan support. The senators propose to use a portion of the estimated $2.1 trillion they anticipate in carbon tax revenue over the first 10 years to reduce the top marginal corporate tax income rate, something the White House has called for.