Thanks to Don Gale for his op-ed, “Let’s have a carbon tax that works.”
Economists agree that putting a price on carbon is an essential first step to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change. However, he further asserts – without evidence – that giving the tax back to the people is “a prescription for failure.”
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act of 2019, which already has 52 cosponsors, is modeled on the policy Gale opposes: carbon fee and dividend. The bill would levy a steadily rising tax on the producers of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) to incentivize both consumers and investors to transition to innovative, renewable sources of energy.
It specifies that the revenue be held in a trust fund and distributed monthly in equal shares to every American household – one share for each adult and one-half share for each child, up to two. Models show that the bottom approximately two-thirds of the income distribution would get back more than they pay in increased costs. The wealthy – those with the biggest carbon footprint – would get less than they spend.
This is a sensible, effective way to reduce emissions while stimulating the economy, creating jobs, improving health and saving lives.
Judy Peres, Chicago, Ill.