Letter: Carbon fee and dividend is needed | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Carbon fee and dividend is needed

In “Election was a mandate for domestic energy development” (Nov. 18), James Kellogg forcefully states his opinions while skillfully creating the illusion that his views are supported by facts and figures.

About 37 percent of the voting-eligible population cast ballots as of Nov. 4, the lowest turnout in 72 years. Kellogg argues that the Democratic “defeats were a referendum” by a “decisive majority.” How does he see a mandate when a majority of eligible voters — more than six in 10 — didn’t even participate? Our democracy faces challenges not well explained by such simplistic and self-serving analysis.

Kellogg supports energy development driven by free markets. If all energy sources — including oil, gas, coal, solar, hydroelectric and wind — competed in a truly free market, the pricing and use of these would look very different. Estimates of subsidies show U.S. taxpayers handing the highly profitable oil and gas companies an additional $7 billion dollars per year. Although it’s done through the tax code, these subsidies are essentially the same as programs that pay money more directly.

We all subsidize the petroleum and coal industries by sacrificing such things as air quality and respiratory health. If the price of fossil fuels accurately reflected the social and environmental costs, the market would be even freer to guide our energy choices.

Carbon fee and dividend is an elegant, non-partisan solution that enables markets to provide accurate price signals that allow us to make informed energy choices. A fee is placed on carbon-based fuels when they enter the economy. All fees collected, less minor administrative costs, are returned as a dividend to American households.

Kellogg’s claims that we need to choose between the protection of our environment and the prosperity of our nation are blatantly false. A recent REMI study shows that carbon fee and dividend provides environmental as well as financial benefits, making our air cleaner and our economy healthier.

Join a growing alliance from across the political spectrum that is embracing the carbon fee and dividend solution. Visit Citizens Climate Lobby at citizensclimatelobby.org, or contact our local chapter at ccl.rfv@gmail.com.

Pat Kiernan

Carbondale


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