Cars travel across the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Sept. 12 editorial “How to check emissions” expressed concern that Americans are driving more and “burning record amounts of gasoline.” What’s the proposed solution? Make it more difficult for Americans to get to work and take care of our families. That is the upshot of a carbon tax. The editorial failed to consider the benefits of affordable transportation.

Americans are using more fuel because lower gasoline prices allow motorists to do more with less. Affordable transportation gives people more job opportunities and makes it easier to take care of a family’s diverse needs. 

The editorial board’s “solution” is a carbon tax because higher taxes make it more difficult to take “unnecessary trips” — as though the editorial board is the arbiter of what is necessary. But higher taxes make all trips more expensive. In the Washington bubble, transportation is viewed as a luxury, not a necessity.

Congress thankfully understands that a carbon tax would harm American families and recently voted to reject one. American families have enough challenges on their plates without additional taxes that make the necessities of life more expensive.

Thomas J. Pyle, Washington

The writer is president of
the Institute for Energy Research.