This Climate Bill Would Actually Send Checks To Americans. Can It Help Save The Planet And Grow Our Economy?

August 3, 2021
By John Cumbers

Do Republicans Hate It?

That depends on who you ask. A notable group — including James A. Baker, Henry Paulson, George P. Shultz, Marty Feldstein, Greg Mankiw and Bob Inglis — have championed carbon taxes for years. While this pedigree may not matter to some Republicans, it is important to remember that a carbon tax is in line with conservative principles. In 2017 a group of traditional Republicans released a proposal for a Carbon Dividend plan containing all three  pillars of the EICDA. The proposal has the support of a diverse group of major corporations, including  Exxon, AT&T, Pepsi, Microsoft, and Ford. Their support refutes the myth that a carbon tax will be bad for business.  

Is It True that Big Businesses Hate Carbon Pricing?

Au contraire! A growing consensus within the business community believes that pricing carbon is the single necessary (but not the only) policy for addressing climate change. Elon Musk, for example, frequently calls for a carbon tax and frames it more or less like this: “all these other things— regulations, clean energy standards, etc., are just playing around the fringes. Just have a carbon tax and the market will do the right thing.”

Musk is not alone. In the last year, a chorus of business voices has prioritized and called for emission reduction solutions that are ‘market-based’ and/or ‘economy-wide’ or simply for pricing carbon.  Here’s a sampling of their voices: 

“A world wracked by frequent and devastating shocks from climate change cannot sustain the fundamental conditions supporting our financial system … A price on carbon is the single most important step to manage climate risk”

“The [U.S.] Chamber supports a market-based approach to accelerate GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions reductions across the U.S. economy… Inaction is not an option.”

“No issue ranks higher than climate change… We support implementation of carbon pricing… Carbon prices…  minimize the costs of reducing emissions”

“… a market-based… approach… must include placing a price on carbon”

“…public policy must…Utilize economy-wide market forces to deliver outcomes at the least cost”