Megan — Thanks for asking this. I think it will take an entire new post to address this, that will come later. A couple of quick thoughts:
- Yes, kind of tax on fossil fuel capital or fossil fuel wealth could help keep it in the ground.
- Remember, you should not think about the Green Paradox (GP) in terms of average exploration and extraction (e&e) costs, but rather marginal e&e costs. For some important sources, e&e costs at the margin are already close to or below prices. See for example, this article about low profit margins of frackers: https://www.wsj.com/articles/frackers-scrounge-for-cash-as-wall-street-closes-doors-11559915320 .
- Green policies that combine quantitative restraint of demand with a tax would reduce risk of GP, e.g., building efficiency standards. But beware of quantitative standards alone, such as CAFE standards for cars, which can produce a rebound effect.
- The faster green policies (including taxes) are phased in the less GP. Worst would be no effective present tax or consumption restraint but a credible threat that such policies would be imposed in the medium future as the harm from climate change becomes more obvious.
Thanks again for asking.