Debate Highlights Obstacles for a ‘Conservative’ Carbon Tax

Published June 17, 2013

A much-anticipated carbon tax debate in Washington D.C. last Thursday brought some much needed clarity to assertions that conservatives should or indeed do support a carbon tax. The timing of the debate couldn’t have been better, as Senate leaders announced on that same day the Senate will hold hearings on a carbon tax next month.
Advocating for a carbon tax were Bob Inglis and Andrew Moylan. Inglis is a former Republican congressman from South Carolina who was trounced in the 2010 Republican Party primary – 71 percent to 29 percent – even though he was running with all the advantages of the incumbency. The seeds of his defeat were sown when he frustrated grassroots conservatives by frequently advocating for liberal programs. Moylan is a senior fellow with the recently formed R Street Institute. R Street advocates for free markets while frequently working closely with environmental activist groups.

David Kreutzer and I took the stage opposing a carbon tax. Kreutzer is a research fellow in energy economics and climate change at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Read about the common ground that emerged and the divisions that still remain in my weekly column, available here.