The cost of this year’s hurricane and wildfire disasters is staggering. With an overwhelming scientific consensus that the magnitude of these disasters is related to climate change, one looks for a solution to combat global warming. A carbon-based fee approach has bipartisan support. Increasing the cost of burning fossil fuels will drive the market to seek suitable green alternatives, some of which exist today.
The Citizen Climate Lobby, a nonpolitical organization, has a unique market-based and revenue-neutral approach to carbon fees that is worthy of investigation. Known as Carbon Fee and Dividend, the policy works like this:
Assess a fee on the amount of carbon dioxide (or CO2 equivalent) that fuel will emit when burned, starting at $15 per ton and increase it by $10 per ton annually.
Return the revenue from that fee equally to all households as a dividend.
Protect American businesses by assessing a border adjustment tariff on imports from nations that do not have an equivalent fee on carbon. Revenue from the tariff would be used to pay American businesses exporting to nations that do not have a similar fee on carbon.
This policy corrects the failure of the marketplace to hold fossil fuels accountable for the damage done to the environment and society. By correcting that failure, investments in cleaner forms of energy such as solar and wind and purchases of low-carbon emitting vehicles will accelerate, eventually reaching a level necessary to stabilize our climate.
Returning the revenue to households will ease the burden of fossil fuel cost increases everyone pays. Most people will actually receive more from the dividend than they will pay for increased energy costs. The border adjustments, which maintain a level playing field for U.S. businesses, also provide the economic incentive for other countries to follow our lead and initiate their own carbon-pricing policies.
With the cost of this year’s disasters reaching into the hundreds of billions of dollars, the CCL approach is a worthy solution as it combats climate change while not adversely affecting our economy. More detailed information can be found atclimatechangelobby.org.
Please contact your representatives in Congress, Sean Duffy 202-225-3365, Ron Johnson, 202-224-5323 and Tammy Baldwin 202-224-5653 and tell them that you are concerned about climate change and suggest the CCL solution.