Cato Watch: Carbon Taxes

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Cato Senior Fellow Jerry Taylor, writing in the Financial Post:

If reducing our carbon footprint is the goal, then the most direct and efficient means of reducing that footprint is to impose a tax on carbon emissions and then leave it to the market to sort out how to most efficiently order affairs under those new prices. Maybe it will mean windmills and CNG, but maybe not. Perhaps it will mean more nuclear power, new hydrogen-powered fuel cells, “clean” coal, the emergence of cellulosic ethanol, battery-powered cars or hybrids — or a continuation of the existing energy base but less consumption as a consequence.

He adds, thankfully, at the end of his piece: “I wish Mr. Pickens well in his wind energy business, but I see no reason why taxpayers, ratepayers or consumers ought to be forced to sacrifice in order to fatten his already ample bank account.”

4:57 pm on July 30, 2008