Michael —

(I just noticed that this got stuck in my “drafts” file. I’ll late-post it anyway, sorry)

I wish all discussions ended this constructively. Actually, although we aren’t quite in the same place on the “singularity” (good term) of carbon taxation, I have not taken the position of a market-purist in that regard. I invite you (or the one or two other readers who might still be following this thread) to read my post, “Why a Green New Deal Must Include a Carbon Tax.” It includes a list of suggestions of add-on policies that could enhance the effectiveness of a carbon tax, and at the same time, argues that a carbon tax would enhance the effectiveness of any regulatory policy. Also my post, “What Explains Voter Aversion to Carbon Taxes” is relevant to this point.

With regard to carbon capture, at least this is something we don’t have to decide up front. If you are right, then under a carbon tax regime, anyone who put any money into it would go broke in a hurry. That is a good argument for a market-based approach as opposed to a regulatory approach, since regulations are more easily skewed by lobbying, and the versions of capture that are favored by the lobbyists are undoubtedly those that are most like the demonstrably counterproductive ones you deplore. (We haven’t even gotten into ethanol, another lobbying-driven dead end IMO. Not to raise a new issue at this late date.) At the same time, a carbon tax would give people like the Carbon Engineering folks a chance to put their money where their mouth is. They laughed at horseless carriages, after all.

Do keep in touch. If you ever want to put together some kind of forum that includes well-meaning, non-ideological, moderates like those of us at Niskanen Center, let me know. There is a contact tab on my personal site, Ed Dolan’s Econ Blog.

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Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

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