To the Editor:
Robert H. Frank’s call for a carbon tax is deeply misguided. By raising energy costs, carbon taxes would be economically stultifying, and deeply regressive. They would render the United States less competitive on world markets and ultimately trigger industry and capital flight.
For all that pain, there would be no gain. With China and India set to dominate global greenhouse gas emissions for a century, unilateral action by the United States would have virtually no impact on the trajectory of global average temperatures. And it would be unilateral: there is no prospect for global greenhouse gas controls anytime soon. Besides, as the International Energy Agency points out, United States carbon dioxide emissions have already fallen by 430 million metric tons (7.7 percent) since 2006, “the largest reduction of all countries or regions.”
Let’s be honest: a carbon tax is simply another tax that advocates believe would be more palatable to the public because it’s painted green.
Kenneth P. Green
Washington, Aug. 29
The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
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