Topic: Energy

Is It Time To End The Highway Trust Fund Fiction?

By :: July 10th, 2014

Congress is in the midst of another Perils of Pauline political showdown: This time the drama is over how to finance the highway trust fund, which will be unable to pay its bills in a couple of weeks. House Republicans have cooked up one set of gimmicks to keep the money flowing for a few […]

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The Corker-Murphy Gas Tax Hike: A Good Idea Spoiled

By :: June 19th, 2014

Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) deserve enormous credit for having the courage to do what few of their colleagues would: Propose to pay for transportation projects by raising the gas tax.  It’s too bad they’d ruin such a sensible, straight-forward idea with a ridiculous budget gimmick. Their bill would hike the gas […]

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Could EPA’s New Greenhouse Gas Rules Open the Door to a State-based Carbon Tax?

By :: June 2nd, 2014

EPA’s proposed tough new standards for power-plant emissions of greenhouse gasses opens the door to new state or regional cap-and-trade systems to limit carbon discharges. It is less clear whether it would go the next step and permit states to impose their own carbon tax. The proposed EPA rules, which Brookings senior fellow Barry Rabe […]

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Three Options for Better Climate Policy

By :: May 28th, 2014

Thanks to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that greenhouse gases are air pollutants under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency has to do something to control them. But the act is ill-suited to controlling a non-toxic global pollutant. The law requires the EPA to set separate emissions guidelines for each category of existing […]

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Congress Fiddles While Bridges Crumble

By :: April 14th, 2014

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 […]

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

By :: July 1st, 2013

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 […]

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

By :: March 12th, 2013

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 […]

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

By :: February 11th, 2013

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 […]

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Gas Prices Are Too Low

By :: March 13th, 2012

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 […]

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Solyndra, Carrots, and Sticks

By :: October 11th, 2011

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 […]

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