Update!—Location has been changed to a larger space. Please see below.
Sightline Fellow Yoram Bauman is hosting the Northwest Carbon Pricing Conference.
I’ll be speaking at it, but that’s not the main reason you should go. It’s going to be a good event because of what it’s not going to be: a line-up of the usual suspects.
The speakers are a genuinely heterodox group of Northwest leaders who are taking seriously the challenge of addressing carbon in a systematic and economically rational way. Among others, you’ll hear from:
- U.S. Representative Jim McDermott
- Jeremy Hewitt, Climate Action Secretariat, BC
- Kimberly Harris, CEO, Puget Sound Energy
- Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center
- Cliff Mass, UW Atmospheric Sciences Professor
- Yoram Bauman, World’s First & Only Stand-Up Economist
- Llewellyn Matthews, Northwest Pulp and Paper Association
- John Burbank, Economic Opportunity Institute
- Jim DiPeso, Republicans for Environmental Protection
- Bill Messenger, Washington State Labor Council
DATE: Saturday May 21, 2011
LOCATION: University of Washington, Health Sciences Room T439 *
More conference info below the jump.
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- What do Rex Tillerson (CEO, Exxon Mobil), Michael Bloomberg, James Hansen, and T. Boone Pickens have in common? They all support carbon pricing. Come learn more about carbon pricing in this one-day conference.
To convene a diverse group of concerned citizens, business and labor leaders, elected officials, students, and scholars to learn about and discuss carbon pricing as a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive clean energy development. Topics include:
- Successful case studies, such as British Columbia’s revenue-neutral “tax shift.”
- Ongoing efforts towards carbon pricing in the U.S., such as the Western Climate Initiative and California’s cap-and-trade system.
- Political and technical challenges and opportunities for carbon taxes in the Northwest
- Seattle Economics Council
- Climate Solutions
- Washington Clean Technology Alliance
- Sightline Institute
Registration required: http://www.carbonwa.org/conference.php.
* More location info:
- If you are walking, biking, or busing, the easiest thing to do is find your way onto the Burke-Gilman trail and then cross the overpass that leads directly into the 4th floor of the T-wing; someone will be stationed at the door to let you in.
- If you are driving, please follow the map on page 4; you will need to pay $5 at the gatehouse, and then you can park underground in the S1 lot; then make your way to street level and—staying outside—walk north up the stairs into the courtyard between Wing F and Wing D; continue until you enter the E-Wing of the Health Sciences building, and then follow the signs to the conference.
- If you need wheelchair access please call Yoram at 206-351-5719.
Glad to see Jeremy Hewitt is coming to speak. The BC carbon tax has been a clear policy winner on many fronts. Perhaps most importantly it has created an example of carbon pricing that has survived for many years now and the people strongly support it. The biggest stumbling block to carbon pricing is the meme that it will kill off biz and leave people shivering in caves. But BC has shown that after collecting a billion dollars in carbon taxes that voters support it more than ever. Politicians right and left have seen their fortunes fall when they attack it. By tying to a tax cut it also means that any pol that wants to repeal the carbon tax has to raise taxes elsewhere. Good luck.And for those that don’t know the history, Sightline folks deserve a share of the credit because their pioneering “Tax Shift” book and policy work was one of the ideas that then-premier Gordon Campbell used in designing the tax. Good ideas find a way eventually.
Another key point about carbon tax vs cap & trade that has emerged from the BC example is that a carbon tax is a great way to quickly get a price on carbon while pols work out the lengthy cap policies.BC started carbon tax and WCI cap at the same time. The carbon tax had a price on carbon within months. Years later the WCI still doesn’t have a price on carbon.The benefit to doing a carbon tax until a carbon cap is that it gives your economy the maximum time to make adjustments at the least possible cost. The economics are clear that the longer you have to make carbon cuts the less it costs. So the BC carbon tax has given BC economy many years head start with a low carbon price.The reason a carbon tax was quick to implement is that it used existing tax structures and collection routes so no new systems needed. The entire tax table for all 4 years of increase fits on a single piece of paper. It covers all burning of fossil fuels for energy which is 77% of BC GHG. Super simple and very transparent. Voters can see it and so they trust it.And psychologically it is a huge relief to a society to be doing the right thing.The speed of implementation and the huge benefit it gives an economy to get started on decarbonizing early and more slowly is a reason that Australia is looking to mimic BC. While I’m not a fan of most of Gordon Campbell’s policies I do think he hit a home run for BC on his carbon tax plus cap combo.
One more interest fact about benefits flowing into BC as a result of pushing green policies:In 2008, “direct, indirect and induced” jobs:* BC green economy jobs = 166,000 (WCI)* Canadian oil sands jobs = 144,000 (CAPP)So much for carbon pricing leading to hair shirts…