A Conservative Solution To Climate Change | KERA News

A Conservative Solution To Climate Change

Aug 4, 2016

Traditionally political progressives have taken the lead to minimize climate change. And they may soon gain some unlikely allies. Today on Think, Krys Boyd spoke to former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis – a republican from South Carolina – about developing a market-based approach to fighting global warming.

The KERA Interview

Bob Inglis on

…  rethinking the Clean Air Act:  

“We think that we can repeal some Clean Air Act regulations that would become redundant if we price carbon dioxide. So, we actually get a slightly smaller government out of this. We wouldn’t advocate the elimination of the EPA or whole sale elimination of the Clear Air Act, but there are certain regulations that would become redundant.”

 … implementing a carbon tax:

“The price on carbon dioxide would be the means by which emissions go down because what happens is, and there’s broad consensus on this in the economics profession, is you just put the price in on something, then the marketplace judges that product and it brings forth innovative alternatives and you have substitution away from the price signal. The price signal is effective, particularly if you’re like people on my side of the aisle, followers of Milton Freidman, you know, this is exactly how he said to deal with pollution is you tax it.”   

… what the carbon tax would cost:    

“Let’s say it’s a $25 per ton price on carbon dioxide. If so, that translates into 25 cents per gallon of gasoline … It’s not a massive increase in the price of gasoline. It is an increase in the price of electricity. It’s one to two cents per kilowatt/hour for a $25 per ton price in carbon dioxide. So, it depends on where you live. If you’re in Washington State you wouldn’t even notice it because you have so much hydropower … But if you’re in Mike Pence’s Indiana, you’re going to notice it because they’re 97 percent coal.”    

… effects on the coal industry:   

“We've got to admit it does hurt coal and it hurts coal badly. Coal is already hurting, though. We’re not out to get coal. We’re not engaged in a war on coal except that we do celebrate what natural gas has done for us. Natural gas has reduced emissions and that’s the war on coal.”

… why the party needs to get on board:   

“If we can realize that on my side of the aisle, the conservative side of the aisle, that this is completely consistent with what we believe in, then we can get into the debate about OK, what are the climate damages? How big are they? Right now, we’ve said as a society, apparently, that the price of CO2 is zero, which is just not true.”