The Center on Global Energy Policy is pursuing a Carbon Tax Research Initiative to explore key questions and implications related to the design and implementation of a carbon tax in the United States. Over the course of 2018 and beyond, the Carbon Tax Research Initiative will provide a platform to educate and enhance the dialogue among policymakers, business leaders, students, and the general public through original research, public events, and workshops.

Climate change presents serious threats to the economy, the environment and national security. To address these threats, a growing number of influential businesses, scientists, NGOs, policymakers, and thought leaders are calling for a carbon tax, which would put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Economists point to a price on GHGs as a key part of a strategy to address climate risks cost-effectively. While a carbon tax is not the only way to price carbon, it is the form currently attracting the most attention at the U.S. federal level, and thus is the focus of CGEP’s effort.

While the prospects for a carbon tax may seem unlikely today, given the speed at which legislative windows open and close, comprehensive policy analysis needs to be prepared in advance. That way, when the time comes, policymakers will have the tools necessary to make informed decisions on whether and how to implement a carbon tax policy in the United States.  

The purpose of CGEP's Carbon Tax Research Initiative is not to advocate for a particular policy, but rather to produce clear, objective, and data-driven research that enables the thoughtful consideration of federal carbon tax policy in the United States. CGEP’s research will address the important decisions associated with the design of a carbon tax policy and the implications of these decisions on the U.S. energy system, environment, and economy.

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