Get up to speed: Yesterday Axios energy reporter Amy Harder explored one of the biggest barriers to carbon taxes gaining any political traction: the refusal of Democrats and green groups to trade away regulations in return, and the refusal of Republicans and industry to accept EPA climate rules on top of a tax.
Now she's got a little more on that topic …
One level deeper: David Bookbinder, former chief climate counsel for the Sierra Club and now a fellow at the right-leaning Niskanan Center, which advocates for a carbon tax, says there's more than meets the eye when it comes to the carbon tax versus climate regulations debate.
What he's saying: Environmental groups publicly say they wouldn't trade climate regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency for a carbon tax, but privately the groups say they would if the price is right, Bookbinder asserts.
- "Like most entities that have no experience in actual negotiations, they [environmental groups] believe that they can't say publicly that they will make the trade until the R's put the tax on the table," Bookbinder tells Axios.
Our thought bubble:
At least one side is going to have to be the first to show a willingness to compromise privately and eventually publicly to break the logjam that is this perennial carbon tax debate. So far, that's not happening. A spokesman for the Sierra Club declined to comment on the record about their official position, which is that they wouldn't support a trade of EPA regulation for a carbon tax.