Numerous academics and policy researchers have advocated that the United States adopt a carbon tax, and this chorus includes many conservative and right-leaning experts. To date, however, such a policy has not found strong support among federal lawmakers, with support among elected Republicans proving especially scarce.
Conventional wisdom suggests that Republican lawmakers are less inclined to embrace a carbon tax because their constituents may be adversely and disproportionately affected. This is because conservative voters are thought to be larger consumers of carbon. Is this true? There has been some research on this question, but the siloed nature of existing studies obscures the effects of climate change on economic welfare and the strength of the relationship between the distributional impact of climate change abatement policies and political affiliation.
This report seeks to fill this void in economic and political science literature by modeling the effect of a federal revenue-neutral carbon tax at the county level, where political affiliation, carbon utilization, and climate risk can be identified.