From carbon pricing to the Inflation Reduction Act, EPIC’s policy fellows Heather McTeer Toney, vice president of community engagement for the Environmental Defense Fund, and former Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) weigh in on climate policy in our Off the Charts Energy Podcast series. Explore the episodes below.
Has Carbon Pricing’s Moment Arrived?
April 27, 2022
Carbon pricing has received considerable bipartisan pushback, with some conservatives arguing it will raise energy costs and some progressives saying it could exacerbate socioeconomic inequalities. But the idea has also gained supporters from both political parties, with Democrats and Republicans mulling the idea as recently as last fall. Economists, meanwhile, are largely united in their belief that carbon pricing is the key to transitioning to a low-carbon future by changing behaviors and incentivizing innovation.
On April 27, EPIC hosted a deep dive conversation on carbon pricing, and how a policy could be structured to help consumers, the climate and energy security. The event included bp’s head of state government affairs and third-party advocacy, Phil Cochrane, as well as EPIC’s 2021-2022 policy fellows Heather McTeer Toney, vice president of community engagement for the Environmental Defense Fund, and former Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who proposed a carbon tax-gas tax swap when he was in Congress. The event was moderated by EPIC’s journalism fellow, Lisa Friedman, a climate policy reporter for The New York Times. Listen to their conversation.
Climate on the Frontlines: A Conversation with Heather McTeer Toney
June 23, 2022
About a year ago, President Biden laid out his climate agenda. That agenda has since been roughly split into two Congressional actions: An infrastructure bill that passed last summer with bipartisan support, and the Build Back Better Act that still sits with the Senate. Recently, EPIC Policy Fellow Heather McTeer Toney, vice president of community engagement for the Environmental Defense Fund, and EPIC Journalism Fellow, Lisa Friedman, a climate policy reporter for The New York Times, sat down to talk about where things stand with climate change in the United States. Key to the discussion was the fact that the communities on the frontlines of climate impacts—often poor and minority communities—are seeing the money trickle down from the infrastructure bill and those communities are putting that money to work in building resiliency. In their eyes, Heather McTeer Toney said, we are already “building back better.”
Republicans & Climate Change: A Conversation with Carlos Curbelo
August 18, 2022
The United States just took a big step in confronting climate change with the passing and signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, arguably the largest single investment in U.S. climate policy to date. It’s historic. But the bill passed with only Democratic support. Republicans, who rejected to the use of the reconciliation process to pass the bill, were unanimously opposed. Was there a realistic pathway to securing Republican votes? And what can be expected if Republicans take one or both Houses of Congress this November?
To help unpack those questions and more, The New York Times climate reporter and EPIC Journalism Fellow Lisa Friedman sat down with former Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo, who proposed a carbon tax bill and co-founded the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus while in Congress.