Thesis Project – Carbon Pricing Policy

The culmination of my time in this program resulted in my final research project. An in-depth qualitative analysis on carbon pricing policies in the United States. By drawing on various methods of analysis including legislative, community, and technical I was able to bring together previous attempts to create a national policy and by speaking with experts I was able to extrapolate what key criteria should be used in a national policy. Through this result I was able to not only identify the criteria that would create a solid framework for a national policy, but I also was able to determine the best approach that would lead to successful implementation.

There has been much debate over the recent years regarding a cohesive carbon pricing policy. However, I think much of this rhetoric has been skewed by special interest groups and political organizations who have never framed this issue in the correct way, or have purposely misled the public discourse to serve various agendas. Bills, such as the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007 to the Raise Wages, Cut Carbon Act of 2009 have proposed their own kind of solution to the issue of climate change. However, I think in each iteration of climate change legislation has been doomed to fail before it could even get started. This is because as a nation we have not focused on what this type of legislation is really trying to accomplish. We need to decide what path is most important for us to follow, implementing a carbon pricing policy now to correct the market distortion that has been created, or kick the can down the road as we have seen repeatedly with pension reform.