Two good stories this morning—one in the Washington Post, the other in the Economist—analyze the various energy proposals working their way through congress. You can measure the complexity of the problem simply by counting the number of proposed piecemeal solutions—ethanol funding, oil industry subsidies, nuclear power, cap and trade, “NOPEC”—but as the Economist notes, the simplest, most effective solution is not even being considered: a straight tax on carbon. That’s the easiest market-based way to make green technologies like the ones we profiled in our June 2006 cover story a reality, but it’s also thought to be political suicide.
How would you wean the U.S. off fossil fuels? —Michael Moyer