BG: Who would you say is promoting rational ways to advance environmentally friendly policy in Washington, D.C., or in state government?
VV: In the American debate, I think we have a great lack of original thinking on all sides of the political spectrum. Europe has shown a lot more leadership, in my opinion, in being willing to break the taboo on environmental taxes. In Europe the environmental groups have had the courage to explain and win public support for things like carbon taxes, gasoline taxes, or chemical taxation. They've been able to do eco-taxation reform, as it's called. In America it's heresy, and even environmental groups are afraid to put their head above the parapet and say we've got to get this right or else there won't be a level playing field.