Tax Dirty Energy or Subsidize Clean Energy?

Posted by: 

by Shawn Regan

Now that cap-and-trade legislation is dead in Congress, some are beginning to organize around a completely different approach. Instead of trying to raise the cost of dirtier energy, what about lowering the cost of cleaner energy?

Today, the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institute released a joint proposal to increase federal spending on clean energy innovation to $25 billion a year, up from the current $4 billion a year. David Leonhardt writes in the NYT:

These proposals reflect the political reality that raising the cost of dirty energy is unpopular, especially when the economy is so weak. Finding the money to make clean energy cheaper, even when government budgets are tight, will probably be an easier sell.
See the full article for more and for commentary from AEI scholar and PERC board member Steven Hayward.
Shawn Regan is a research fellow at PERC and the director of outreach and publications. He holds a M.S. in Applied Economics from Montana State University and degrees in economics and environmental science from Berry College. His writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Quartz, High Country News,...
Read More > More Articles by Shawn Regan >