Is a federal carbon price worth pursuing in a politically divided United States? We hear the case for why it is.

Advocates say an economy-wide carbon tax would send a clear market signal to emitters, while accounting for the externalities and risks that fossil fuels pose to the U.S. economy. The concept aligns with classic conservative principles of small government and rooting out solutions in the free-market.

But for all the talk of markets and economics, most Republican lawmakers find the idea of a carbon price toxic.

And yet, in recent months, several conservative carbon-tax proposals have emerged at the national level, including legislation introduced by Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo, and they're shaking up the usual partisan dynamics around climate action.

As the Trump administration continues to roll back Obama-era climate policies, climate activists from across the U.S. are moving forward with a national carbon pricing proposal that they believe can gain bipartisan support.

In this episode, we speak to leaders of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, a nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy group focused on drumming up political momentum to pass a carbon fee and dividend proposal. They make the business case for carbon pricing and explain why they believe a bipartisan federal carbon bill can — and eventually will — get passed. 

Recommended reading:

  • CCL: Carbon Fee and Dividend Policy
  • GTM: Why Only 5,000 Voters Could Help Pass a New Republican Carbon Tax
  • Guardian: Republican Lawmaker Pitches Carbon Tax in Defiance of Party Stance
  • E&E: How Much Is Big Oil Working to Pass a Carbon Tax? We Checked
  • Daily Chronicle: Shell, BP Go Separate Ways as Washington Voters Weigh New Fee on Greenhouse-Gas Polluters

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