Market-Driven Compliance in a Nutshell

This article is a summary introduction to my four other articles on carbon policy. Links to further reading in those articles will be found at the end of this piece.

Carbon conversation currently exists in a carbon pricing echo chamber. Discussion is limited to a tax or auctioned cap and…

What do we want from carbon policy? Internalizing pollution’s external costs even though that may not incent a polluter to abate? Or, mandating reductions and attacking emissions head on? These two options are not merely opposite sides of the same coin. …

On July 20, 2021 The Atlantic published this obituary, Carbon Tax, Beloved Policy to Fix Climate Change, Is Dead at 47 by Robinson Meyer. Meyer is a superb journalist. I subscribe to his newsletter and read as much of his reporting as possible. The obit describes well the conflict between…

So true. It seems the Biden proposal and the GND climate track are throwing a lot of money at the wall hoping most of it sticks. The "more" that is needed is a consistent regulatory policy setting a common goal for climate performance across the entire economy rather than for one sector at a time. A truly market based policy will set a single performance standard or expectation for all polluters and value emission reductions and offsets. If the expectation is exceeded, the over compliance will have market value. If the expectation is not met, the polluter must find a solution elsewhere in the market. If we want risk-taking on carbon reductions to have the highest reward ratio, markets are very efficient in that regard. There is a good chance money thrown on the wall will not be the most direct path to necessary emission reductions.

Ken, I browsed some of the REP papers and read your article on Gates. You write well. I think the social cost of carbon is a distraction. I suspect you agree. You and I both seem to focus on paying for abatement, not for emissions. …

In “Seven Reasons Why Taxing Carbon Won’t Fly (and shouldn’t)” I listed objections to a carbon tax and committed to describing a better, property-based carbon policy. Here are the how, who, what, where, and when of that policy. I start with “How.” …

In my earlier post, Seven Reasons Why Taxing Carbon Won’t Fly (and shouldn’t), I promised a second installment describing a good carbon policy that is not a carbon tax. For the sake of keeping each article readable, the second installment has evolved into a second and a third installment. The…

Pricing is considered the best policy for reducing carbon emissions, and carbon taxation monopolizes the conversation. To be sure, a carbon tax will reduce emissions; we get less of anything we tax. The tax, however, has serious drawbacks worth discussing since other carbon pricing options are available. Adopting a carbon…

Bob Neufeld

Retired environmental compliance and government relations vice president for a small petroleum refiner. I have degrees in chemical engineering and law.

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