Tax Examples: Energy and Environmental Taxes Generally

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Discussion surrounding energy and environmental taxes focuses on their impact on economic activity, employment, and environmental health. The European Commission has suggested substituting labor taxes with energy, fuel and carbon taxes. It is argued that such taxes are optimal mechanisms for helping prices approximate marginal social cost. It is also argued that Pigouvian taxes, in this case energy and environmental taxes, impose lower costs on the economy, and thus boost output relative to other tax programs. Also of importance to the issue is the fact that energy consumption is income elastic, and that increases in cost bear more heavily on the poor than the rich.