Carbon Pricing Is a Possible Alternative to Partisan Bickering Over Climate Change
In the closing days of a race that’s closer than expected, Sen. John Cornyn (R–Texas) has been accused of using manipulated footage to make his Democratic challenger, MJ Hegar, say that she “support[s] a carbon tax.”
In fossil fuel-rich Texas, of course, support for a tax on carbon is potentially disqualifying. Hegar’s actual position is somewhat unclear: She claims to support a carbon tax but also says she would not want it to hit middle-class families. Still, the last-minute tussle over carbon taxes in the Texas senate race is indicative of a greater problem in our national politics when it comes to fighting climate change: The politics often supersede the policy.
That’s certainly been true in this year’s presidential race.
Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign website calls climate change “the greatest threat facing our country and our world.” He promises to invest $2 trillion dollars into infrastructure, manufacturing, and “environmental justice” to ensure that “communities who have suffered the most from pollution are first to benefit.”
Biden also plans to refit thousands of homes, even though the costs for that are significantly higher than the benefits. He pledges to reduce carbon emissions to zero, which Bjorn Lomborg, a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, projects would cost $5 trillion dollars. Overall, Biden’s plan would cost thousands of dollars per taxpayer every year, according to Lomborg.
Meanwhile, incumbent President Donald Trump’s environmental agenda consists primarily of hoping that climate change goes away. His campaign website describes his second-term agenda as promising to “Continue to Lead the World in Access to th
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