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Letter: We can halt climate change right now

Published: 8/1/2021 7:00:21 AM

Pretty scary stuff is happening to our climate lately: droughts, floods, hurricanes and wildfires. It’s not easy to think or talk about climate change, but there is good news you may not know about. There’s a way to reduce carbon emissions, put money in people’s pockets, and meet global deadlines to slow down global warming. Over 3,500 U.S. economists endorse this approach. It doesn’t create new bureaucracies or regulatory snarls. It costs the federal budget nothing. What is this policy? It’s “Carbon Fee and Dividend.”

A fee of $15/ton of carbon would be charged on fossil fuel when it is extracted from the ground. 99% of all the money collected would then be returned equally to American taxpayers in monthly checks, just like the COVID stimulus checks. (The other 1% pays for administration.) The carbon fee would increase each year, driving emissions down rapidly while giving businesses the ability to plan ahead, and increasing the monthly dividend that would arrive in your bank account or mailbox. At this very moment, the Senate is considering carbon fees, but they have not yet crafted a bill that is cost-neutral and non-regulatory. If carbon pricing with a full dividend cash back sounds like a good idea to you, tell Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen to champion “Carbon Fee and Dividend.” We don’t have to be scared of global warming if we simply take this bold action now. It’s a win-win.

Susan Richman



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