LETTER: Carbon tax can avert catastrophe
The June 18 letter, “We have good, affordable alternatives to fossil fuels,” makes a solid case for phasing out all fossil fuels as soon as possible. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warnings about future global warming have now moved from “dangerous” to “catastrophic.” They give us just a 15-year window to change course to avoid the latter.
Fortunately, there is way we can avert total disaster and boost our economy at the same time.
A new report says a revenue-neutral carbon tax will cut emissions more and faster than the new EPA regulations, using only market forces, while adding 2.8 million jobs and $1 trillion to our GDP.
With a carbon pollution fee for oil, coal and natural gas that’s rebated directly, 100 percent, to consumers, we create a tax swap. For us, it’s a wash, but it’ll be fatal for fossil fuels. As the fee steadily increases each year, people will, naturally, choose to switch to clean energy. As solar and wind energy scale up, they’ll be cheaper than fossil fuels are now.
Climate change has already cost U.S. taxpayers over $1 trillion (NOAA website). The International Energy Agency estimates just two more years of delaying major emissions reductions will cost $4 trillion. The math here is pretty clear.
The revenue-neutral pollution fee would also include imports from carbon polluters like China.
They’d be forced to go green fast to compete economically. Meanwhile, we’ll get that money too and can buy U.S. products with it.
British Columbia instituted just such a plan five years ago and it’s been deemed a success by The Economist. It created jobs in a down global economy, a higher GDP than the rest of Canada and made 10 percent cuts in emissions. The plan works. It will be a win-win for our economy and our children’s future. Most economists support this revenue-neutral plan, including eight Nobel Prize winners.
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