Former Bush official calls for carbon tax

Former Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush, Hank Paulson, is calling for a carbon tax on the nation's biggest polluters.

In a New York Times op-ed piece Saturday, Paulson compared climate change to the financial crisis of 2008.

"If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage," Paulson said.

He went on to explain that if the U.S. does not act swiftly in mitigating the impacts of climate change then the "climate bubble" will burst.

"For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered," Paulson said. "We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy."

Paulson stressed that despite disagreement from the Republican part, of which he is a member, they should consider the "economic risks of doing nothing."

The solution, he says, can be a conservative one.

"We can do this by putting a price on emissions of carbon dioxide — a carbon tax," Paulson said.

He's not alone in the Republican party.

Four former Environmental Protection Agency chiefs who all served under Republican presidents all agreed that the Republican solution to tackling climate change would be a carbon tax.

The four former EPA administrators served served under President Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

And now Paulson, who boasts he knows about risk after dealing with the credit bubble burst.

Paul concludes that climate change is the "challenge of our time," pressing lawmakers not to "ignore the climate bubble."

The op-ed comes on the heels of President Obama's proposal to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, which Republicans in Congress have blasted as a "war on coal."

Republicans argue that the rules would hurt the economy and shutter coal plants across the U.S.