Lessons to Learn From the Carbon Tax Backlash

December 21, 2018

The “yellow vest” protesters in France hate it. Four Canadian provinces, including the biggest one, Ontario, have refused to implement a national law requiring them to impose it. The state of Washington voted it down. Even “Green New Dealers” are shying away from it.

“It” is a carbon tax: the preferred solution to climate change of wonks worldwide. Raising the cost of dirty energy is the only way to avoid a climate catastrophe, but it's also politically difficult. But as David Hart writes for RealClearPolicy, there is an alternative solution: better energy technologies that radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a cost that is competitive with coal, oil, and natural gas. Rather than pour political capital down the rathole of taxes on dirty energy, climate advocates ought to double down on policies that would dramatically accelerate clean energy innovation.