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Richard Brooks's picture
Co-Founder and Lead Software Engineer Reliable Energy Analytics LLC

Inventor of patent 11,374,961: METHODS FOR VERIFICATION OF SOFTWARE OBJECT AUTHENTICITY AND INTEGRITY and the Software Assurance Guardian™ (SAG ™) Point Man™ (SAG-PM™) software and SAGScore™...

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  • Sep 25, 2020
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This report has a very high signal/noise ratio - objective and credible findings. This is definitely a case where economic theory on carbon pricing has no resemblance to the real world.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 25, 2020

We can build successful political coalitions around climate policy when we give people something to fight for. If jobs and benefits are front and center, support for action will follow.

This resonates. I won't claim to be an economist, so I read arguments for and against carbon taxes and definitely see both perspectives and don't know which side is 'right.' But what I do know from careful observation is that any large-scale carbon pricing would require immense political capital to move along, even if it was ultimately defeated. When opponents can frame it as a tax, as coming after the little guy, and when there are sure to be unintended consequences, it's a huge mountain to climb and climate advocates have to ask themselves: is this the mountain worth dying on? Or are there other policy levers that can be pulled that might be comparably effective but have a much lower hurdle to overcome in terms of political feasibility. 

Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on Sep 25, 2020

Excellent points, Matt. I too am not an economist and will never claim to be. My experience comes from software engineering of solutions based on market designs that economists create. I question the effectiveness of a carbon pricing tax on wholesale electricity, and no other use of fossil fuels, like the New York proposal. This approach penalizes people who use electricity - when we should be doing the exact opposite, IMO. Electrification of transportation, heating and manufacturing processes is a critical success factor to address climate change and incentivize zero emission technologies.

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