Tax Dirty Energy or Subsidize Clean Energy?

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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 and the director of publications at PERC. He holds a M.S. in Applied Economics from Montana State University and degrees in economics and environmental science from Berry College. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Quartz, High Country News, Reason, Regulation, Grist, and Distinctly Montana. Shawn is...
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