An economist explains what's missing from our national energy policy

Dan Upham

Economist Nat Keohane, who leads EDF’s International Climate program, recently sat down with Sarwar Kashmeri of the Foreign Policy Association to record a podcast for the association’s “Great Decisions” series.

“One thing that’s clearly missing from the energy policy landscape in the United States is a price on carbon,” Keohane explained. “We’re not pricing in the cost to the atmosphere and to the planet of the carbon dioxide emissions that come out of burning coal and natural gas.”

By excluding these costs, fossil fuels appear cheaper than they actually are. If we’re going to shift to cleaner forms of energy, as the science says we must, putting a price on carbon, along with a cap to ensure reductions, is a necessity. “The number one thing that’s missing from an economist’s point of view is that price signal,” Keohane said.

Listen to the full conversation on the Foreign Policy Association website to learn more about the true cost of carbon emissions, the effects of climate change on health, and the challenges new energy technologies raise for the fossil fuel industry.