You can now read 10 articles each month for free on BostonGlobe.com.

The Boston Globe

Opinion

TOM KEANE

Say yes to carbon tax in Mass.

A revenue-neutral strategy reflects the true cost of using energy

A small advocacy group in Massachusetts has proposed a novel, market-based approach to limiting the emissions of carbon dioxide — the colorless, odorless gas that is the underlying cause of global climate change. Their plan comes even as the Obama administration has unveiled its own set of rules aimed at accomplishing the same thing.

The president’s approach is the more traditional, the kind we associate with big government regulation — what some political scientists dub “command and control.” The Bay State scheme has a far greater potential for success, however, and is grounded in the power of prices and the way they affect our behavior. If the price of butter climbs, we use less, shifting over to margarine. If it falls, we use more. The local environmentalists, who call themselves the Committee for a Green Economy, want to apply the same principles to energy.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than $1 a week