This past weekend, about 500 people gathered at Wesleyan College in Middletown, Conn., for the Pricing Carbon Conference. But most of the participants weren’t excited about pricing carbon via cap-and-trade; they were all about carbon taxes.
During a debate about whether to implement a cap-and-trade policy or a carbon tax, Dan Lashof of NRDC, proponent of a cap (though an awfully mild proponent: “So I’m supposed to be here as a die-hard believer in cap-and-trade …”), had but one or two lone supporters in the large audience.
The conference was a virtual who’s who of carbon-tax supporters. Four members of the U.S. House spoke — Reps. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), John Larson (D-Conn.), and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.). So did author and 350.org activist Bill McKibben, climate scientist James Hansen, Carbon Tax Center founder Charles Komanoff, and EPA lawyers and cap-and-trade rebels Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel.
It felt like a gathering of greens who don’t fit within the confines of mainstream environmentalism. Absent were big green groups like the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, and t... Read more