Green New Deal vs. Carbon Tax: A Clash of 2 Worldviews, Both Seeking Climate Action
The contest is elevating climate policy conversations on the campaign trail and in Washington. It could inspire compromises that bring together pieces of each.
Congress is in uncharted territory on climate policy.
For the first time ever, lawmakers face competing approaches to reviving U.S. climate action. And despite hostility from the White House, each has significant support and the potential to shape the 2020 elections.
On one side are the student activists of the Sunrise Movement and Congress’s new young firebrands; on the other, more moderate groups, including grassroots advocates and some of the Republican Party’s elder statesmen, supported both by established environmental groups and by major energy corporations.
The young activists want nothing short of a social and economic revolution. Their Green New Deal, while not yet fully formed, promises jobs and economic security as part of a drive to get greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. The moderates, hoping to win over Republicans in Congress, seek a market-based incentive in the form of a carbon tax plan. But key to energy industry support for their efforts is that any carbon pricing proposal also include protection from other regulations on emissions and immunity from climate lawsuits.