Karl Polzer was correct in his Jan. 29 letter, “Make carbon taxes equitable,” that carbon taxes can be regressive. But they don’t have to be — if we give all the revenue back to households on an equal basis. By counting a person as a person, we overcome Mr. Polzer’s objection to a carbon tax, that it hurts the poor and most vulnerable.

In fact, economic studies conducted by Columbia University, Regional Economic Models Inc. and the U.S. Office of Tax Analysis demonstrate that by returning the revenue equitably to all households, most low- and middle-income households (more specifically, the bottom 70 percent income range) would receive more in dividends than they would pay in increased economy-wide prices for goods and services resulting from the carbon tax.

What is more American than counting a person as a person and allowing households to do as they wish with the carbon dividend that should be part of any carbon tax plan? So let’s stop talking about carbon tax and talk about carbon fee and dividend instead. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R. 763, does just that.

Sabrina S. Fu, Ellicot City

The writer is a volunteer with
Citizens Climate Lobby.