The Most Interesting Climate Policy Debate You Haven’t Heard Of

May 20, 2014 by

By Joe Romm

carbon tax debate

Former GOP Rep. Bob Inglis debates a carbon tax in front of a conservative audience

It occurred last June between two groups of conservatives.

On the do-nothing side were well-known climate-science deniers, James Taylor of Heartland and David Kreutzer of Heritage Foundation. On the other side was R Street senior fellow Andrew Moylan along with former 6-term GOP congressman Bob Inglis (SC). Inglis leads the Energy and Enterprise Initiative (E&EI), an organization dedicated to finding a conservative approach to climate change built around a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

Here is the interesting part. The debate was in front of a largely conservative audience, and yet:

At the conclusion of the debate, a straw poll was taken and approximately 80% of the audience indicated they favored taxing carbon emissions in return for a dollar-for-dollar tax swap on something else (FICA taxes, corporate income taxes, etc.).

So in an actual debate for conservatives and by conservatives, the winner by far was serious climate action. Here is a video story on the debate, courtesy of the Showtime TV series — tonight’s episode features Taylor and his work with ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) to kill windpower, as well as a story on methane leaks:


Clash of the Conservative Titans from YEARS of LIVING DANGEROUSLY on Vimeo.



You can watch the entire debate at the E&EI website.

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