The R Street Institute is a new Washington DC based insurance-funded think tank which, among other things, supports a carbon tax. It was founded by Eli Lehrer, who bolted from the
Heartless Heartland Institute during their meltdown last year.
There’s a debate in DC this week in which they will advocate for a carbon tax against the likes of James Taylor (the nasty one, n ot the folksinger).
Though the participants all share a broad vision of smaller and less expansive government, they have widely divergent views on the advisability of a carbon tax. Arguing against adopting a carbon tax will be James Taylor, senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, and David Kreutzer, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Opposite them will be Andrew Moylan, senior fellow at the R Street Institute, and Bob Inglis, executive director at the Energy and Enterprise Initiative. Moderating will be Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason magazine, who has written extensively about these complicated issues.
This is not a debate about climate science or man’s role in changing weather patterns. It is a debate about the structure of tax policy and whether a carbon tax lies inside or outside the bounds of the debaters’ shared conservative principles.
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: FHI 360 Conference Center
1825 Connecticut Ave. NW, 8th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20009-5721
The terms of the debate seem structured in favor of the “inside” position.
The debate itself may not matter much, though: this is very “inside-the-beltway”. I think the carbon tax will not sell to the Republican base until they understand the risks and constraints much better than they do. So I’m still holding on to a supposedly refuted “information deficit paradigm”. Good information does not guarantee good decisions, but bad information pretty much guarantees bad decisions, doesn’t it?
Still, this is good news. The fact that somebody with the right plumage is coming out in favor of a tax is certainly a sign of progress.