In “Big Oil gets clean and the world stays dirty” (Ideas, June 13), John Mulliken makes an excellent point: Markets cannot mitigate the climate crisis on their own, and what’s needed is policy applicable to all companies and implemented by the government.
It is unfortunate that the Biden administration sidelined the carbon tax for now, since there is a consensus among economists that it is the most cost-effective way to decrease CO2 emissions. On top of that, the carbon tax might more easily become a bipartisan measure than other policies, since conservative climate groups such as Americans for Carbon Dividends are also advocating for it, and some Republicans said they could support it.
One of the arguments of the Biden administration is that this tax may disproportionately hurt the poor. However, the World Resources Institute found that even if only a small portion of the carbon tax revenue is redistributed to low-income households and coal communities, these communities would do better than under alternative climate policies. So why not find a way to design a carbon tax that will be fair to disadvantaged communities?