Interaction with State Programs Laser Talk

There are multiple options for reconciling a national carbon tax with existing state programs such as RGGI and the California cap and trade system:

  1. Preemption. In preemption, both RGGI and the CA program would cease to function once the federal law took effect.
  2. Stacking. In stacking, both state programs would continue to function as is on top of the federal regulations
  3. Integration. In integration the two programs would work together. For instance, if the California price for carbon was lower than the federal level, emitters would pay the federal level. If the price rose above the federal level, emitters would have to pay the higher price.

The point here is that there are multiple options for reconciling the state programs with the federal program, and should not be a reason to hold up federal action.

Skeptic Claims and One-Liners

Carbon Fee Skeptic Claim: A carbon tax will be impossible to reconcile with existing state legislation
One-Liner: There are multiple strategies for reconciling these programs including preemption, stacking, and integration; we just have to chose one.

  1. “What Would a Federal Carbon Tax Mean for California Cap-and-Trade?”. March 14, 2013. Four Twenty Seven Climate Consulting.