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Articles by Adam Stein

Adam Stein lives in Chicago.

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  • Cap-and-rebate is more robust in the face of carbon high prices

    The other day, I used the fanciful example of $50,000-utility bills to illustrate how cap-and-rebate schemes can inspire energy efficiency and conservation. The numbers were deliberately exaggerated, but they highlight one of the features of cap-and-rebate that I like: the robustness of the system in the face of higher carbon prices. The political battle over […]

  • How cap-and-rebate brings about carbon reductions

    David Roberts asks: Who, in this scenario [carbon revenue rebated to consumers], has any new incentive to shift to low-carbon electricity or efficiency? Short answer: everyone. Let’s say I’m your utility, and I raise your energy prices so that, at present rate of consumption, your bill will rise to $50,000 per year. Pretend that energy […]

  • Whatever its virtues, the gas tax is nearing the end of its life

    The post on the mileage tax stirred up a lot of reaction, much of it negative. As it happens, the state of Oregon recently wrapped up a successful trial of a mileage tax system, so for the next few posts I’m going to be relying heavily on an excellent final report on the system (PDF) […]

  • WSJ: hacks and handout-seekers hate O's climate plan

    Environmental Capital reports that Obama's approach to climate change legislation is foundering, because it's tied to an ambitious social agenda. Which is weird, because Obama's cap-and-trade proposal isn't tied to an ambitious social agenda.

    Many Democrats are upset that President Obama's budget earmarks most of the $646 billion in cap-and-trade revenue for generic tax cuts and to help fund other programs, rather than for specific help to cushion the blow of increased climate regulation.

    This is a bit tricky to parse, but it helps if you understand that the word "earmark" here is used to mean "the opposite of an earmark." Congresscritters want the money from cap-and-trade for projects in their own states (green infrastructure, vote-buying, what-have-you), and Obama wants to return most of it to taxpayers.

    So where is this "ambitious health and social welfare agenda" stuff coming from? For that, we are referred to Bush-era EPA official and liar G. Tracy Mehan, III. Mehan has penned a fairly boring article in which he runs down the usual pros and cons of various flavors of carbon taxation, and then concludes: