Barry Rabe: Can We Price Carbon?
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Barry Rabe discusses his book Can We Price Carbon? Moderated by John Milewski, Director of Digital Programming; Host and Managing Editor, Wilson Center NOW.
About the book:
A political science analysis of the feasibility and sustainability of carbon pricing, drawing from North American, European, and Asian case studies.
Climate change, economists generally agree, is best addressed by putting a price on the carbon content of fossil fuels—by taxing carbon, by cap-and-trade systems, or other methods. But what about the politics of carbon pricing? Do political realities render carbon pricing impracticable? In this book, Barry Rabe offers the first major political science analysis of the feasibility and sustainability of carbon pricing, drawing upon a series of real-world attempts to price carbon over the last two decades in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Rabe asks whether these policies have proven politically viable and, if adopted, whether they survive political shifts and managerial challenges over time. The entire policy life cycle is examined, from adoption through advanced implementation, on a range of pricing policies including not only carbon taxes and cap-and-trade but also such alternative methods as taxing fossil fuel extraction. These case studies, Rabe argues, show that despite the considerable political difficulties, carbon pricing can be both feasible and durable.
About the author:
Barry Rabe is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy and the director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the Ford School. He is also the Arthur Thurnau Professor of Environmental Policy and holds courtesy appointments in the Program in the Environment, the Department of Political Science, and the School for Environment and Sustainability. Barry was recently a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and continues to serve as a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His research examines climate and energy politics and his newest book, Can We Price Carbon? (MIT Press) was released in spring 2018. He has received four awards for his research from the American Political Science Association, including the 2017 Martha Derthick Award for long-standing impact in the fields of federalism and intergovernmental relations. Barry co-chaired the Assumable Waters Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2015-2017 and has served on recent National Academy of Public Administration panels examining the Departments of Commerce and Interior as well as the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
About the moderator:
John Milewski has lived big chunks of his life on television dating back to the 1970s when he did play-by-play for his high school’s basketball team via the nation’s first cable system. Since then, he spent 20 years as the host of a political talk show on C-SPAN. In recent years he has been providing media performance training and coaching for scholars, journalists, members of the armed forces, and ambassadors and other government officials at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He also teaches a class on politics and media for the Pennsylvania State University, which has informed his thinking about what works and doesn’t when crafting a message.