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Opinion As treasury secretary, Janet Yellen can finalize a carbon tax-and-dividend plan

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on July 15, 2014. (Win Mcnamee/Getty Images)

Catherine Rampell was absolutely right that former Federal Reserve chair Janet L. Yellen is an outstanding choice for treasury secretary [“Janet Yellen is the treasury secretary we need,” op-ed, Nov. 30]. Ms. Rampell described Ms. Yellen as a “technocrat, whose views are informed by mainstream research and data.” High praise, indeed.

These skills are well-demonstrated in her role as a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council. This bipartisan group advocates a carbon tax-and-dividend plan as a way to let market signals shift our energy use to cleaner sources. Such a bill is pending in Congress. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R. 763, imposes an increasing fee on carbon at its source — i.e., mine, well or port — and the proceeds are remitted per capita to households in the form of monthly dividends. Economic studies concluded that this approach will greatly reduce carbon emissions and boost the economy. This legislation receives praise across economic, business and ideological spectra.

As treasury secretary, Ms. Yellen can use her extraordinary skills and experience to bring a carbon tax-and-dividend plan across the finish line.

Michael N. Wilcove, Rockville

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