Chapter 12: The Environment and International Relations

Action:

Carbon tax
This policy would tax the carbon content of hydrocarbon fuels (coal, petroleum, and natural gas). The greater the amount of carbon dioxide a business releases, the greater the tax they will have to pay. Revenue from the carbon tax will be used to subsidize renewable energy initiatives.

Outcome:

The business lobby vehemently opposes your proposal and invests heavily in lobbying efforts to see that your proposed legislation does not pass in Congress. Their efforts are successful as Republicans and pro-business Democrats reject your idea for a carbon tax and the measure fails. You must choose a different approach.

What do you do now?



Subsidize renewablesThe federal government would increase its tax credits, low-cost loans, and grants to businesses developing renewable energy initiatives. This approach would make it easier for the renewable energy sector to compete with the fossil fuels industry. Over time, innovation will occur, reducing the costs of renewable energy solutions.
Announce emissions goalsYou will hold a highly-publicized press conference, announcing new goals for carbon emissions reduction. These targets will not be enforceable but may reassure lobbyists, scientists, and the international community of American commitment to combatting climate change.