Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Congress Fiddles While Bridges Crumble

It isn’t news that congressional Democrats and Republicans have agreed to spend the time between now and the November elections messaging, rather than legislating. When it comes to domestic policy it has only two real issues on its must-do list: Deciding the fate of 50+ tax breaks that expired last December and figuring out what […]

New Study: Tax Subsidies Do Little To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The other day, President Obama proposed a modest and largely aspirational plan to respond to climate change. Unlike some of his past efforts, it did not include new proposals for highly targeted tax subsidies aimed at reducing the use of carbon-based fuels by encouraging “green” energy. The tax breaks were missing in large part because […]

A Carbon Tax is a Win-Win for the Economy and the Environment

Looking for a way to improve the operation of the economy, lower our dependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution, slow global warming, cut government spending, and decrease the long-term budget deficit? Then you should support a carbon tax, which could help the nation address all these issues simultaneously. A new paper I’ve written with Samuel […]

Would a Carbon Tax and Corporate Tax Reform Taste Great Together?

Two great tastes often taste great together. Chocolate and peanut butter. Oreos and milk. Popcorn and butter. Could the same be true of carbon taxes and corporate tax reform? Done right, each could be flavorful. But would they be even tastier together? My Tax Policy Center colleague Eric Toder and I explore that question in […]

Gas Prices Are Too Low

GOP presidential candidates are blasting President Obama for not lowering the price of gasoline. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) doesn’t stop there. He claims Obama is deliberately driving prices to $4 a gallon. He’s not. But he should.  In an election year, Obama may be the last guy who wants gas prices to rise. However, if  we […]

Solyndra, Carrots, and Sticks

A wonderfully-titled new paper—The Tragedy of the Carrots—by Boston College law professor Brian Galle got me thinking about Solyndra, the failed solar panel company that has become something of  a poster child for botched industrial policy. By now, you probably know Solyndra’s sad tale. The firm got $537 million in federal loan guarantees from the […]

Taxes and Energy Policy

Last week I had the opportunity to testify before two Ways and Means subcommittees–Select Revenue Measures and Oversight–about the way our tax system is used as a tool of energy policy. Here are my opening remarks. You can find my full testimony here. As you know, our tax system is desperately in need of reform. It’s needlessly complex, economically […]

The Coming Payroll Tax Role Reversal

In a couple of weeks, President Obama will ask Congress to extend this year’s payroll tax cut. It will surely become a classic Washington double-reverse rhetorical moment. I can’t wait to hear Obama lift some of House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) best lines about the folly of raising taxes in the midst of an economic […]

The GOP, Ethanol, and the No-Tax Pledge

A majority of Senate Republicans yesterday took a symbolic but hugely important vote to eliminate $6 billion in tax subsidies for the production of ethanol.  And, so far at least, they have not turned into pumpkins. The symbolism of their vote should not be underestimated. In a small but important way, 34 GOP senators proved to […]

Carbon Taxes: The Levy (Some) Conservatives Love

You know the Washington Rule: Liberals will never support spending cuts and conservatives will never back tax increases. Yet, there is one new levy that at least some on the right do support—a carbon tax. Backing for this idea has popped up in some interesting places. Most recently, the American Enterprise Institute included it in a […]