About us …
Charles Komanoff and Daniel Rosenblum launched the Carbon Tax Center (“CTC”) in 2007. We brought to CTC a combined six decades of experience in economics, law, public policy and social change. Dan has moved on, Charles remains as CTC director, while James Handley, a chemical engineer and attorney who previously worked for private industry and for U.S. EPA, served as our senior policy analyst until early 2016.
Our June 2008 newsletter, “A Convenient Tax” further describes CTC’s mission and strategy.
In the past seven years, we’ve established CTC as a clearinghouse of news and information about the need for and best design principles of a briskly-rising carbon tax as the cornerstone of effective climate policy. Our unique, publicly-accessible spreadsheet model demonstrates the effectiveness of a tax on CO2 pollution to reduce climate pollution by correcting the unfair advantage that fossil fuels now enjoy over renewables and efficiency.
To donate to the Carbon Tax Center
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About our name
We understand that the “t” word carries some heavy baggage. We’ve received numerous suggestions for alternative names. Nevertheless, we feel it’s important to openly confront the tax issue, to point out the potential revenue benefits of carbon taxes, the growing body of economic research supporting carbon taxes as well as public support for taxing climate pollution. We intend to continue to play it straight and keep the name “Carbon Tax Center.”
Lessons from “Traffic Tax”
Congestion pricing and carbon taxing emanate from the same fundamental idea: that the most effective way to reduce a “negative externality” is to tax it. In 2007, as congestion pricing was being debated in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to charge a user fee for driving into the Manhattan Central Business District that would have funded public transit improvements was commonly abbreviated to a “traffic tax.” (E.g., “New Yorkers Might Not Be Ready For Congestion Tax,” Planetizen, 5/25/07, and “Spitzer Open to a Deal on Traffic Tax,” New York Post, 5/29/07 .) It’s not hard to imagine that a carbon “fee” would wind up being called a “tax,” too.
Climate scientist James Hansen, easily the most visible carbon tax advocate, has had success popularizing a federal carbon tax with 100% of revenues to returned households as “fee-and-dividend.” And it’s true that “fee” connotes a user charge more directly than does “tax.” As Get Energy Smart Now blogger Adam Siegel pointed out via e-mail, “Charging a fee for dumping pollution into the commons” may appeal more broadly than a “tax which implies taking something away from people.”