Public Willingness to Pay for a US Carbon Tax and Preferences for Spending the Revenue

Environmental Research Letters (2017, v2 p094012) / by Matthew J Kotchen, et al.
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa822a

[Abstract] We provide evidence from a nationally representative survey on Americans’ willingness to pay (WTP) for a carbon tax, and public preferences for how potential carbon-tax revenue should be spent. The average WTP for a tax on fossil fuels that increases household energy bills is US$177 per year. This translates into an average WTP of 14% more on average for households across the United States, where energy costs differ significantly across states. Regarding the tax revenues, Americans are most in support of using the money to invest in clean energy and infrastructure. There is relatively less support for reducing income or payroll taxes, returning dividends to households, and other expenditure categories. Finally, Americans support using the tax revenues to assist displaced workers in the coal industry enough to compensate each miner nearly US$146 000 upon passage of a carbon tax.

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