Hank Paulson Makes the Case for a Carbon Tax

By Dane Sherrets on June 23, 2014

Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary, makes the case in a New York Times op-ed that we need a carbon tax.  Paulson, a Republican, has a reputation as an environmentalist.  (I've long argued that "Republican environmentalist" need not be an oxymoron and that a revenue neutral carbon tax would be a market-friendly improvement on our current tax code.)  

Paulson argues that we ignored financial risks prior to the 2008 financial crisis, and we are doing the same now with greenhouse gases.  My favorite paragraph:

"We are building up excesses (debt in 2008, greenhouse gas emissions that are trapping heat now). Our government policies are flawed (incentivizing us to borrow too much to finance homes then, and encouraging the overuse of carbon-based fuels now). Our experts (financial experts then, climate scientists now) try to understand what they see and to model possible futures. And the outsize risks have the potential to be tremendously damaging (to a globalized economy then, and the global climate now)."