Debate Club

Is a Carbon Tax a Good Idea?

Is a Carbon Tax a Good Idea?

As lawmakers appear to be at a stand still in budget negotiations to avoid the so called fiscal cliff, some are suggesting the politicians should consider a carbon tax in their wrangling over a deficit-reduction deal. A carbon tax is a specific price the government charges for carbon content per ton in fuels (most proposals range from $15 to $30 per ton). Where the raised revenue would go depends on the various proposals that have been put forward—to fund R&D for green energy technologies, to help lower-income families pay for increases in electricity prices dues to the tax, and, in light of the current situation, to pay down the national debt. But supporters say that the tax would incentivize companies to limit greenhouse gas pollution and is an important step in addressing climate change. Furthermore, they say it would boost the green energy industry, creating jobs.

Opponents insist that spending cuts, not more taxes, are the only solution to the current debt crisis. They also argue the tax would harm the energy industry, one of the most robust sectors of the U.S. economy right now, and cost American jobs. Some doubt the carbon tax's ability to bring down carbon emissions.

Is a carbon tax a good idea? Here is the Debate Club's take


The Arguments

#1
286 Pts
Weather Disasters Prove the Need for a Carbon Tax

Yes – Weather Disasters Prove the Need for a Carbon Tax

Richard Caperton Director of Clean Energy Investment at the Center for American Progress.

#2
223 Pts
Carbon Tax Revenue Could Fund Clean Energy Innovation

Yes – Carbon Tax Revenue Could Fund Clean Energy Innovation

Mark Muro Director of Policy for the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings

#3
199 Pts
A Carbon Tax Should Be Included in a Deficit Reduction Deal

Yes – A Carbon Tax Should Be Included in a Deficit Reduction Deal

Chad Stone Chief Economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

#4
137 Pts
The Time Has Never Been More Right for a Carbon Tax

Yes – The Time Has Never Been More Right for a Carbon Tax

Charles Komanoff Director of the Carbon Tax Center

#5
-167 Pts
A U.S. Carbon Tax Wouldn't Slow Down Global Climate Change

No – A U.S. Carbon Tax Wouldn't Slow Down Global Climate Change

Paul C. Knappenberger Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.

#6
-169 Pts
Carbon Tax's Impact on Global Warming Would Be Negligible

No – Carbon Tax's Impact on Global Warming Would Be Negligible

Thomas Pyle President of the Institute for Energy Research

#7
-172 Pts
A Carbon Tax Makes the Democrats' Overspending Problem Worse

No – A Carbon Tax Makes the Democrats' Overspending Problem Worse

Christopher Prandoni Federal Affairs Manager of Americans for Tax Reform


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