Carbon taxes can be constructed in a way that substantially speeds greenhouse gas cuts without hamstringing the economy or regressive financial effects, according to joint research in four papers published Tuesday.

Reality check: Experts have been building a body of ready analyses and policy designs if a political window opens in the future. But, the current political reality is that the House is prepared to vote on a GOP-led, nonbinding resolution this week that says taxing CO2 would hurt the economy — and it's expected to pass easily.

The details: The analyses are released via Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy in conjunction with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Rhodium Group consultancy, and Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

What they found: The papers model escalating taxes beginning at $14, $50, and $73 per ton of emissions starting in 2020. A few topline findings...

  • Money: Federal revenues would in the first decade would increase by $60 billion–$250 billion annually.
  • Emissions: The mid-range proposal ($50-per-ton) would cut emissions by 39%–46% below 2005 levels by 2030, a much deeper cut than the U.S. commitment under the Paris agreement (which the Trump administration plans to abandon anyway).
  • Fuel sources: The largest impact by far is in the power sector, greatly speeding up the shift away from coal and toward renewables, with a much lesser effect on oil's dominance in transportation.
  • Costs: The proposals would boost energy prices to varying degrees. Under the $50 scenario, retail power costs would average 12.9 cents per kilowatt hour in 2030, compared to 10.6 cents absent the policy. Average gasoline prices would be 60 cents per gallon higher by then.
  • Design: A series of options can mitigate the financial effects on consumers, including payroll tax cuts and rebate checks.

One level deeper: "If the revenues are rebated to households equally, the combination of tax policies could be progressive, with lower income households receiving rebates that significantly exceed what they pay in additional taxes," the summary notes.

Why $50 matters: It's not too far off the proposal from the Climate Leadership Council, a group backed by some former GOP officials like James Baker, which would start at $40 per ton while giving the proceeds to the public through rebates.

  • Meanwhile, liberal Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Brian Schatz have floated a bill that starts at $50 per ton.

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In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

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Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China