Stories by Michael Greenstone

Expert Voices

Voter support for carbon tax may depend on how revenue is used

Data: Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey conducted Nov. 14 to Nov. 19, 2018; margin of error ±3.9; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

As much as 67% of Americans might support a carbon tax, according to a new poll from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Why it matters: 98% of economists believe that the least expensive way to slow climate change is to put a price on carbon emissions through a cap-and-trade system or tax. Although economists also suggest using revenues from carbon pricing to reduce income taxes — taxing a “bad” (carbon emissions) to reduce taxes on a “good” (income) — these poll results suggest voters prefer pairing carbon taxes with environmental spending.

Expert Voices

Nuclear energy could be competitive, but it requires pricing carbon

Adapted from an EPIC analysis of data from IEA/NEA, EIA, and DOE; Chart: Axios Visuals

Six U.S. nuclear plants have closed in the past five years and nearly 35% of the remaining fleet are now at risk of early closure or slated to retire.

The big picture: Many tout carbon-free nuclear energy as a climate solution, but today’s nuclear plants are having a difficult time competing with cheap natural gas and renewables in today’s wholesale electricity markets. New advanced nuclear technologies may reduce costs, but even in the most optimistic scenarios they will not be competitive without a price on carbon.