Taxing Carbon: What, Why, and How

Technical Paper

Taxing Carbon: What, Why, and How

Abstract

The case for a carbon tax is strong. A well-designed tax could efficiently reduce the emissions that cause climate change and encourage innovation in cleaner technologies. The resulting revenue could finance tax reductions, spending priorities, or deficit reduction—policies that could offset the tax’s distributional and economic burdens, improve the environment, or otherwise improve Americans’ well-being. But moving a carbon tax from the whiteboard to reality is challenging. To help policymakers, analysts, and the public address those challenges, this report examines the what, why, and how of implementing a carbon tax and using the revenue it would generate.

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