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Can We Price Carbon?$
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Barry G. Rabe

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037952

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037952.001.0001

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Why Politicians Are Reluctant to Price Carbon

Why Politicians Are Reluctant to Price Carbon

(p.13) 2 Why Politicians Are Reluctant to Price Carbon
Can We Price Carbon?

Barry G. Rabe

The MIT Press

The preferences of economists in policy do not necessarily correspond with what is politically feasible for elected officials. Indeed, carbon pricing to address climate change represents an enormous political challenge, as it imposes a visible and immediate price increase on the cost of a common commodity in exchange for the possibility that reduced consumption may offer climate benefits at some future point. Politicians may choose to avoid any policy step, particularly if opposition to pricing is steep and climate change is not a leading public concern. In turn, they may also select policies such as regulation and action plans, which may be less effective but may be easier to sell politically because any related cost increases are not obvious.

Keywords:   carbon, tax, price, pricing, energy, policy, political, economic, emission, renewable portfolio standard

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