AMERICA’S DEBATE on green energy is pathetic. In the past year, the two biggest green-energy issues in Congress have been whether to to strip the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of various authorities and whether to renew a crude subsidy for wind power.
Here’s the green-energy objective that Congress should pursue: transitioning the country off carbon emissions without unduly burdening taxpayers, consumers and businesses. The best way to do that is to put a tax on carbon emissions that ramps up over time. Consumer choice, not Congress or the Energy Department, would determine how to wring carbon out of the economy, and businesses would also benefit from more certainty about future market conditions. But, despite speculation that such a policy could figure in budget negotiations, the closest thing to an energy debate that the lame-duck Congress has managed has been a return to the fight over that wind subsidy, which expires at the end of the year.