Make Federal Fuels Pay Their True Cost by U.S. Climate Plan
Aug 5, 2014
This is a great idea, and having worked on this very topic in the past, we feel that this would make a real difference in greenhouse gas pollution and be a good deal for taxpayers. Nevertheless, we felt that as it's written now, there are too many challenges still to be worked out to justify advancing this proposal to the semi-finalist round. First, you hint at it in a very clever way, but I think finding a way to describe this as good for the economy because of how it improves the tax code is vital. You could do some original work by figuring out how to frame this idea as politically acceptable. Second, I think there are legal questions about how this change could actually be implemented. Does BLM have the right to do this on its own, or are there legal boundaries around how they can set royalty rates? Finally, your proposal does not fully address every question. It would be especially important to focus on greenhouse gas pollution impact. How much would this increase the cost of coal, and how would that impact the use of coal in power plants?