UH Energy Symposium Series to host talk on carbon tax

The UH Energy Symposium will host a moderated discussion on carbon taxing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Houston room of the Student Center South.

This is the second installment of the 2015-2016 series and will feature four panelists: scholar in economic policy studies at the American Institute Aparna Mathur, Van Ness Feldman L.L.P. partner Kyle Danish, President of Shell Oil Company and Upstream Americas Director Marvin Odum and geologist and environmentalist H. Leighton Steward.

UH Energy fellow and department of economics lecturer Edward Hirs said the symposium aims to foster dialog about energy in a big way.

“What UH is trying to do is make an identity for the university within the university and internationally,” Hirs said. “The discussion is centered on how the public wants to implement these ideas, not the science behind them.”

Hirs said the discussion will be grounded in the realistic solutions to a scientific-based problem, not a discussion of the science behind the issue.

“This is not a science discussion,” Hirs said. “We are not having scientists arguing whether there are carbon emissions or global warming. This discussion is about the implementation about the right policy tools for reducing carbon. We aren’t here to debate the merits of the science.”

Three methods for regulation — speed limits, cap and trade implementation and carbon taxes — will be analyzed by the speakers.

Hirs said the university is striving to present an open-minded search of all viewpoints.

“You can have folks disagree on substance and ideology and do so in a professional manner, and that’s what we bring to the university,” Hirs said. “It’s the cool part of this, bringing in four tremendous leaders in the field to come to UH and run a very high-level workshop seminar.”

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