I appreciate The Bee Editorial Board’s bold stand on climate change Dec. 23. We agree on most of its proposed solutions, especially the need to pay for the hidden costs associated with carbon emissions. However, we differ in the way those costs should be paid.
Any additional gas tax should be returned to people via a dividend, otherwise it would be a hardship for the poor, many of whom can’t afford newer, fuel-efficient vehicles. Returning it via dividend would also avoid the revenue distribution problems associated with methods such as cap-and-trade.
Consider assessing a national fee on all fossil fuels, wherever they are produced or enter the country. Give all the proceeds equally to U.S. households, in the form of a dividend, to protect them from rising prices. This will enable them to buy cleaner energy and more efficient products as they become more affordable. Place a border tariff on imports from countries that don’t have a carbon pricing system, to protect U.S. businesses from unfair competition. Subsidies and excessive regulations won’t be needed.
It’s called revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend and it’s time for Congress to make it a reality.
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Connie Young, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Fresno