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SPOTLIGHT

1. POLICY:

Carbon tax discussion gains momentum as fiscal cliff looms

A debate over how to use the revenue from a carbon tax is taking shape, with one plan pushing back on conservative sentiment that revenue from an emission price should be restricted to cuts in other taxes, beginning with income tax. A new paper by the Brookings Institution argues that a carbon tax could generate $30 billion a year for clean-tech investments, including the deployment of specific technologies. Such a carbon tax, priced at $20 a ton, would also raise an estimated $120 billion annually to reduce the deficit and lower other tax rates, a key negotiating point meant to attract Republican support.

2. TRANSPORTATION:

China's green vehicle revolution is fueled by natural gas

SHANGHAI -- The blue automobile that taxi driver Shen Guiqin uses to carry riders around in northern China's Tianjin City tells much about an unsung clean solution in the nation. It looks like a conventional vehicle but emits less pollutants. Its carbon dioxide footprint is one-quarter less compared with petroleum-powered cars. And there is no need to worry about lead poisoning, as lead compounds that can be found in emissions from most cars Chinese have driven barely exist in its exhaust.

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