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Letter: A simpler way to clear the air

Thanks for the great editorial affirming the action by eight Northeastern governors to petition the EPA to force “upwind” states to reduce their power plant and factory pollution because the ozone and pollutants are harmful to our health and environment (“A breath of fresh air from governors,” Monitor, Dec. 10).

However, your conclusion says the only regrettable part of the action is that only Democratic governors joined together in this petition. Yet there is another regrettable part of this action. It is expensive to comply with EPA regulations, and these costs are passed on to consumers. However, the federal government could accomplish the same end results (lowering fossil fuel emissions) if only Congress would enact a carbon tax, and then the tax revenue could be rebated to the public to help us cope with the rising prices.

Republicans like Sen. Kelly Ayotte usually prefer market-based solutions to problems (like a carbon tax), rather than regulatory solutions (EPA regulations). They usually prefer taxing things we don’t want (like ozone pollution and greenhouse gas emissions) rather than things that we want (income, dividends). They usually prefer non-regressive taxes (like a carbon tax with rebate) rather than regressive taxes (like payroll taxes and sales taxes). What does Ayotte think about sponsoring a bipartisan, revenue-neutral carbon tax?


Brookline, Mass.

(The writer is a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby.)

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