The Jan. 17 editorial “Our alarming climate,” which noted two recent studies that demonstrate an acceleration in climate change, rightly called for the adoption of “policies such as a carbon tax that would encourage economic growth without emissions growth.” One recent congressional initiative to that end is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, introduced on a bipartisan basis in both houses of Congress late last year (S.B. 3791/H.R. 7173).
This measure would place a fee on fossil fuels — starting at a modest level but increasing annually — that would reflect the environmental costs of fossil fuels and provide an economic incentive to develop and use less carbon-reliant technologies. Importantly in this polarized political environment, the revenue from the carbon fee would be returned to the American public on an essentially per capita basis through a monthly dividend. The bill also contains a border carbon adjustment mechanism on imports and exports to counter the disadvantage U.S. industries would otherwise face from competitors in countries that have not imposed similar carbon fees.
In short, it’s a win-win approach for the American people, American competitiveness and the environment, while serving a much-needed role in combating climate change.
Richard Juhnke, Arlington