Letter: Carbon fee and dividend is the solution
Thank you to Randy Essex for his column, “Let’s stop making false choices on energy” and for setting the facts straight and reminding Americans not to fall into the trap of party politics or the false argument of climate vs. economy.
Many of us want a future where we get our energy from clean sources rather than fossil fuels that are harmful to our health and environment, and want to see more stable national security and economy. It is time to come up with solutions that are palatable to all parties instead of wasting our time arguing back and forth as we watch oil prices go up and down.
A steadily rising fee on the carbon dioxide content of fossil fuels would smooth price fluctuations, motivating consumers to make choices that are economically wise for them and ecologically smart for a changing climate. By returning that money to American households through a dividend, this fee on carbon is not a tax, and puts money in the hands of consumers who, by the adjusted price on carbon, are compelled to spend it on energy and goods that are less carbon-intensive, giving a competitive edge to renewables.
A recent study from Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) looked at this approach with a carbon fee starting at $10 per ton of CO2 and rising $10 per ton each year, with the money being returned equally among households offsetting higher energy costs and then some for most Americans. Under this program, REMI found that after 20 years, CO2 emissions would go down 50 percent and 2.8 million jobs would be created, primarily because of the economic stimulus of recycling carbon fee revenue into the pockets of people likely to spend the money.
I urge Republicans and Democrats to stop arguing and start focusing on real solutions to climate and energy. To learn more about the solutions, look up “Carbon Fee and Dividend.”
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