Carbon Tax: Potential for a New Fiscal Solution

May 11, 2018

Would a carbon tax improve our fiscal outlook? This panel brought together leading experts to explore the potential for a well-designed carbon tax to help put our nation on a more sustainable fiscal path. Key questions included how best to structure a carbon tax that is fair to Americans of all income levels as well as across sectors and industries, while boosting economic growth, discouraging the use of carbon-intense energy, and raising new revenue that can be used to address budget shortfalls.

This interview with Terry Dinan, Aparna Mathur, Adele Morris was conducted by Jim Tankersley as part of the 2018 Fiscal Summit.

Terry Dinan

Senior Advisor, Congressional Budget Office

Terry Dinan is a senior adviser at the Congressional Budget Office. She has written about a variety of environmental, energy, and budgetary issues, including the financial soundness of the National Flood Insurance Program, the budgetary effects of climate change, the costs and effects of policies aimed at subsidizing energy sources and technologies, the design of climate-change policies and their implications for households and businesses in the United States, and the costs and consequences of renewable-fuel standards and fuel-economy standards. She has testified before the Congress on those topics, published in a variety of professional journals, served as an associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and served on the board of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. She has a PhD in economics from Iowa State University. Before joining CBO, she worked at the Environmental Protection Agency and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Aparna Mathur

Resident Scholar in Economic Policy, American Enterprise Institute

Aparna Mathur is a resident scholar in economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she researches income inequality and mobility, tax policy, labor markets, and small businesses. She also directs the AEI-Brookings Project on Paid Family and Medical Leave, for which she was recognized in the 2017 Politico 50 list.

Before joining AEI, Dr. Mathur taught economics at the University of Maryland and was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Public Policy (now the McCourt School of Public Policy).

Dr. Mathur has been published in several top scholarly journals and in the popular press on issues of policy relevance. Her work has been cited in academic journals and leading news outlets such as Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal. She has also testified several times before Congress, and government organizations such as the Congressional Research Service and the Congressional Budget Office have cited her work in their own reports to Congress.

The holder of a PhD and an MA in economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, Dr. Mathur also has an MA in economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a BA from Hindu College at Delhi University in India.

Adele Morris

Senior Fellow and Policy Director of Climate and Energy Economics Project, Brookings Institution

Adele Morris is a senior fellow and policy director for Climate and Energy Economics at the Brookings Institution. Her research informs critical decisions related to climate change, energy, and tax policy. She is a leading global expert on the design of carbon pricing policies.

She joined Brookings in July 2008 from the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the U.S. Congress, where she advised members and staff on economic, energy, and environmental policy. Before her work in Congress, Morris was the lead natural resource economist for the U.S. Treasury Department for nine years. In that position, she informed and represented Treasury’s positions on agriculture, energy, climate, and radio spectrum policies. On assignment to the U.S. Department of State in 2000, she led negotiations on land use and forestry issues in the international climate change treaty process. Prior to joining the Treasury, she served as the senior economist for environmental affairs at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers during the development of the Kyoto Protocol. Morris began her career at the Office of Management and Budget, where she oversaw rulemaking by agriculture and natural resource agencies. She holds a PhD in economics from Princeton University, an MS in mathematics from the University of Utah, and a BA from Rice University.

Jim Tankersley

Tax and Economics Reporter,The New York Times

Jim comes to The New York Times from Vox, where he edited the policy and politics team, including coverage of the economy, health care, immigration, Congress and the White House. Before that he spent four years at The Washington Post as the paper’s economic policy correspondent, and three years in a similar role at National Journal.

Jim has written extensively about the stagnation of the American middle class, the decline of economic opportunity in wide swaths of the country and how policy changes in Washington have exacerbated those trends over the past few decades.

Jim came to Washington 10 years ago to join the D.C. bureau of the Chicago Tribune, where he covered Congress and the 2008 presidential campaign. He started his career with stints at The Oregonian, The Rocky Mountain News, and The Toledo Blade, primarily covering politics. At The Blade he was a member of the Coingate team that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He and a Blade colleague won the 2007 Livingston Award for Young Journalists for a series of stories demonstrating how and why the Ohio economy declined so dramatically over the course of a generation.

A native of McMinnville, OR, Jim is a Stanford graduate and an avid camper and backpacker. He lives in Alexandria, VA, with his 11-year-old son, Max.


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