On Tuesday, American Enterprise Institute resident fellow and MGA founder and CEO Alex Brill testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. The topic of the hearing was the tax treatment of energy. Brill spoke of the criticality of a “broad, efficient, technology-neutral tax policy geared toward encouraging less energy consumption and more renewable energy production” to working toward a reduction in U.S. reliance on fossil fuels—and ensuring a reduction in CO2 emissions.
Much of the public debate over climate change policy focuses on the cost of reducing emissions, deploying green energy, or building adaptations. A point often lost is that whatever we do, we pay for climate change, even if we do nothing. For officials to arrive at effective solutions, they must know both the cost of the policy options and the cost of inaction.
“I advocate and support a carbon tax, but not just blindly, not just any carbon tax. It is critically important that the carbon tax be revenue neutral. That at the time at which this policy is put in place its done in a matter in which the revenues expected to be generated from the carbon tax are used to reduce other taxes that are more distortionary. This is what we would call the principles of basic tax reform.”