Brookings Mountain West presents “Could a State-Level Carbon Tax Work in the Intermountain West?,” a talk by Adele Morris, fellow, Economic Studies and Policy Director for Climate and Energy Economics.
With the U.S. federal government stuck in partisan gridlock, attention increasingly turns to states and localities for innovative climate solutions. This talk will explore the option for Intermountain West states to tax carbon, including how they could establish a tax base, set price signals, and manage revenue. The presentation will pay special attention to the option of “swapping” a carbon tax for revenue sources that more negatively impact economic growth, such as taxes on business activity. This research will explore the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches and consider the issue of the burdens on lower income households and certain industries. In addition, the speaker will discuss how a carbon tax at the state level could impact the case for other state-level policies to promote clean energy and reduce emissions. The research presented is a collaboration with Brookings scholar Tracy Gordon and UNLV graduate student in economics, Matt Kinzer.