Episode 5
What is a Carbon Fee or Carbon Tax? Learn about bills in Congress

A carbon fee or tax offers an approach to carbon pricing represented in multiple bills in Congress. This episode features the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.


Experts Interviewed

Tony Sirna, Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Tony Sirna is the Strategy Director for Citizens’ Climate Lobby supporting and empowering volunteers in advocating for climate solutions. Tony was a founder of CalFACT where he worked to improve carbon pricing and support climate solutions in California. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University.



Adele Morris, Brookings Institution (Appearing by permission in The Future Ocean via clips from recorded presentations)
Adele Morris is a senior fellow in Economic Studies and Policy Director for Climate and Energy Economics at the Brookings Institution. Her research informs critical decisions related to climate change, energy, and tax policy. She is a leading global expert on the design of carbon pricing policies. She joined Brookings in July 2008 from the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, where she advised members and staff on economic, energy, and environmental policy. Morris was the lead natural resource economist for the U.S. Treasury Department and served as the senior economist for environmental affairs at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers during the development of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. She holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.

More information on topics discussed in this episode:

  • Description of carbon tax systems and policy design considerations by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions – “Carbon tax basics”
  • Over 3,500 economists have signed the Economists’ Statement on Carbon Dividends, including four former chairs of the Federal Reserve, 28 Nobel Prize winners, and 15 former chairs of the Council on Economic Advisors.
  • Leading economist with the Brookings Institution says most economists support establishing a price on carbon as a central means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (and as part of a broader portfolio including diplomatic engagement, research, investment in adaptation, and equity). Learn what questions must be considered – “11 essential questions for designing a price on carbon”
  • Carbon pricing system in Canada:
    > Since 2019, every province and territory in Canada has had a price on carbon emissions. Each province or territory can design its own pricing system, or they can choose the federal pricing system. See this summary of Canada’s system, including a carbon tax in several provinces – Canada’s carbon pricing program
    > See independent news organization, The Conversation, for an easy-to-read view of Canada’s carbon pricing system (and find out what cauliflower and broccoli have to do with carbon dividends) – “Here’s what the carbon tax means for you”
  • Kelp farming is growing in Alaska – Research at University of Alaska Fairbanks is looking into how ecosystem services of kelp might play a role in mitigating ocean acidification.