Monday, May 16, 2011

What Price Carbon?

Pacific Northwest Carbon Pricing Conference

Carbon in the Periodic Table of the Elements
~ This Saturday there is a conference at the University of Washington to explore the costs and benefits of different approaches to pricing carbon. Carbon is a huge externality that distorts the economics of energy, and, because energy is a critical element in virtually everything else, carbon is a huge externality to our economic system both broadly and deeply.

The Conference will be held in Room T439 at the UW Health Sciences Building from 9:00 to 3:00 and has a great speaker list. Two of many are engaging PSE CEO Kimberly Harris and the very knowledgeable Professor of Atmospheric Science Cliff Mass. I'm also greatly looking forward to seeing again Yoram Bauman, the world's only "stand-up economist" who can truly make economic analysis not only very funny, but also very understandable.

The main topics the conference will cover are:

  1. Successful case studies, such as British Columbia’s revenue-neutral “tax shift.”
  2. Ongoing efforts towards carbon pricing in the U.S., such as the Western Climate Initiative, California’s cap-and-trade system, etc.
  3. Political and technical challenges and opportunities for carbon taxes in the Northwest
There will also be ample time for networking and in-depth questions and conversations.

Last I spoke to the organizer he said that there were nearly 200 people registered, so I expect that this will be a lively, informative and valuable event. Registration is free.

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