Russell Harland (letters May 6) criticizes carbon production fees as interfering with market-based solutions to climate change. In fact, a gradually rising fee on carbon and the elimination of government subsidies to all energy producers would support market-based solutions by requiring fossil fuels to compete at their actual costs. Harvard economist Martin L. Weitzman pegs those costs at approximately $40 per ton of carbon emissions.
According to U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, the Big Five oil companies enjoy an average $2.2 billion of federal government subsidies every year. All clean-energy solutions to climate change, including those favored by Harland, would compete better in a market that is not rigged in favor of oil.
A revenue-neutral fee and dividend program such as proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby would give the funds generated from the carbon fee directly to U.S. households, thereby supporting their energy choices. This plan would enable consumers – not the government or regulators – to choose energy winners and losers.
Bryan Apper, Fresno