George Shultz (former US secretary of state) and Gary Becker (1992 Nobel laureate in economics)

“We propose a measure that could go a long way toward leveling the playing field: a revenue-neutral tax on carbon, a major pollutant. A carbon tax would encourage producers and consumers to shift toward energy sources that emit less carbon—such as toward gas-fired power plants and away from coal-fired plants—and generate greater demand for electric and flex-fuel cars and lesser demand for conventional gasoline-powered cars.”

“The right level of the tax for the United States deserves careful study, but the principle of a lower starting rate with scheduled increases to an identified level has proven to be a good one in the five-year experience of a similar carbon tax in British Columbia. This gives time for producers and consumers to get accustomed to a carbon tax, and to discover how they can respond efficiently.” 

“Clearly, a revenue-neutral carbon tax would benefit all Americans by eliminating the need for costly energy subsidies while promoting a level playing field for energy producers.”

George Shultz, Gary Becker (April 7, 2013) Why We Support a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax. The Wall Street Journal.


Mr. Shultz is former secretary of labor, director of the Office of Management and Budget, secretary of the Treasury and secretary of state. Mr. Becker, a 1992 Nobel laureate in economics, is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. Both are senior fellows at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.