Yglesias makes a fair point:
Their basic point, that the kind of carbon tax proposal that policy wonks would dream up would be superior policy to the kind of cap-and-trade plan that would result from the compromises necessary to get 60 votes in the Senate, is very true. But by the same token, the kind of cap-and-trade proposal that policy wonks would dream up would be superior policy to the kind of carbon tax plan that would result from the compromises necessary to get 60 votes in the Senate.
In the near term, no serious carbon tax will ever pass the U.S. Senate. Period. If you believe otherwise, you're just not paying attention to things. A big part of the surge in interest in a carbon tax is purely cynical, coming from special interests who are afraid a carbon cap might actually pass and want to muddy the waters with pseudo-liberal arguments in order to build an anti-C&T alliance and keep anything at all from passing. There are plenty of carbon tax advocates who are perfectly sincere, but I gotta tell them: you're being played by people who are the farthest thing imaginable from sincere. If you win, we're not going to get a carbon tax. We're going to get nothing.
And when nothing is revealed as insufficient, maybe a better solution will emerge.