Professor Alex Geisinger endorsed a proposal to replace the federal gas tax with a levy of $24 per ton of carbon in an op-ed published in The Hill on July 26.
Geisinger noted that the bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, a Republican, resembles the flexible, business-friendly regulatory proposals that were once in vogue among conservatives.
“A small number of Republicans look likely to support carbon regulation,” Geisinger said, adding that much of the GOP majority quickly lined up against the proposal, claiming that it will hurt the economy, cut jobs and hurt taxpayers.
“Ironically, the carbon tax is likely to save people money in the long-run,” Geisinger said, citing a 2017 report by the Universal Ecological Fund predicting that annual of economic losses and health costs tied to air pollution could tally more than $360 billion annually.
“Without a carbon tax or other climate change regulation, you and I are paying for a portion of Exxon Mobil’s profits,” Geisinger wrote. “The producers of fossil fuels are already causing billions of dollars of damage and yet they don’t have to bear the cost of any of that harm. Rather taxes and insurance premiums go up to pay for the damage. This is not saving Americans money, it is taking money from our pockets and putting it into the pockets of fossil-fuel companies.”
Geisinger is an authority on environmental law and administrative law; his current scholarship focuses on government regulation.