Making the Case for Environmental Taxes

From The Washington Examiner, an op-ed in support of environmental taxes/”green fees” as a revenue-neutral means of using the tax code to promote environmental stewardship. If you’ve read The Ecology of Commerce or Natural Capitalism, you won’t find anything new here, but it’s certainly encouraging to see this concept getting attention outside of sustainability circles.

One thing that isn’t mentioned here (or elsewhere, generally) is the political feasibility of such taxes, and, IMHO, they could be a relatively easy sell. Conservatives have labeled the income tax as counter-productive for years, and green fees proponents shares this belief. With high polling numbers for environmental protection, I would think that the general public would find environmental taxes appealing for a number of reasons. Of course, the corporations that stand to pay the most through such taxes would use their considerable economic resources and political weight to squelch even the discussion of such a notion. And, I have to wonder if the long phase-in period necessary to mitigate the most regressive aspects of a consumption tasks wouldn’t set most Americans’ eyes aglaze.

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