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Carbon Tax Promoted as Cap-And-Trade Alternative

A coalition of academics and polluters is saying that a simple tax on each ton of emissions would prove more efficient and less bureaucratic than a cap-and-trade system, Washington Post reports.

A carbon tax offers certainty about the price of polluting, which appeals to many economists and businesses, according to the article. William A. Pizer, a senior fellow at the centrist think tank Resources for the Future and a former senior economist for President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, estimates that the benefit-to-cost ratio of a tax-based system would be five times that of a cap-and-trade system.

But according to Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense, such a tax “doesn’t give us the guarantee the emissions will go down.”

The article reports that only one House Democrat, Rep. Pete Stark (Calif.), has drafted a carbon tax proposal.

Responding to the article in the National Association of Manufacturers blog, Pat Cleary writes “‘First, let’s see the science and second, let’s see how a ‘tax’ – any tax – will work, and let’s make sure it’s not going to be a job killer. Then maybe ‘industry’ will weigh in. ‘Til then, let’s not mis-characterize things or see support where there is none.”

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