If a carbon tax helps lower emissions, why doesn't the U.S. have one?

Roberton Williams speaks to Marketplace Business News

Coal Fired Power Plant in West Virginia

Image Credit: Matt Gush via iStock

December 13, 2021

Reflecting on the meeting of world leaders at the UN #COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland this November, many wonder if it's possible to cut global carbon emissions in a timely and efficient manner.

AREC professor Roberton Williams III provided his insight and expertise to Marketplace Business News: “The fundamental political problem here is that deep cuts in emissions require substantial changes to our energy system...And that’s going to create winners and losers, and the losers are going to fight it.”

Read the article on Marketplace.org
If you are a student and you are interested in learning more, Professor Williams will be teaching AREC/ECON 481: Environmental Economics in spring 2022. 

The course will develop the economic perspective on environmental problems. It begins by using basic microeconomic theory to conceptualize "pollution" as an economic problem. This view has direct implications both for the determination of the appropriate (or efficient) level of environmental quality and for the choice of policy instruments for the attainment of environmental standards. In particular, the course will explore the use of economic incentives for protection of the environment. The readings and class discussion will develop the basic analytic foundation for these policy instruments (such as environmental taxes and cap-and-trade systems) and will examine the ways they have been used in the U.S. and abroad for environmental management. The course will also address international environmental problems with special attention to the issue of global climate change.