Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Carbon tax is the rational choice [Letter]

I agree with Ned Tillman's commentary ("Reducing carbon emissions has practical benefits," June 12) touting the health and economic virtues of replacing coal-fired power with non-fossil sources, which is one likely outcome of the new EPA rules announced this month.

But the possibilities are even better if Congress will wake up to their responsibility to help meet the challenge of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. According to a study just released by Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI), a market-friendly revenue-neutral fee on carbon would not only reduce global warming emissions quite dramatically, but it would actually create net jobs and economic growth across the nation.

How is this possible? And what is "revenue-neutral?"

Government does not keep a penny of the proceeds collected from fossil fuel suppliers as a carbon dumping fee. All of the money is returned to the public through monthly dividend checks. This pumps money right back into the economy, and the REMI study shows that it will actually create over 2 million jobs in 10 years while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent. Not only that but the ancillary health benefits would save over 200,000 American lives. And all this can be achieved without complex, contentious, intrusive regulations because it allows the market to do the work. Inventors, entrepreneurs and investors will seek out the best ways to minimize the burden of the carbon fee. Government will not pick winners and losers.

But this requires political courage from lawmakers who, even when they understand the value of a policy, quake at the thought of being accused of raising taxes by their opponents. Cynical pundits laugh at the prospect of actually passing such a rational bill into law.

But pundits do not create political will nor do the politicians. Only citizens can do that. So it is up to all of us (you and me) to demand action from our elected officials — not just President Barack Obama but those other 535 souls who populate the U.S. Congress. They have to power to make or break our future and that of our children. Make them do the right thing!

Rick Knight, Brookfield Ill.

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Climate change and national security

    Climate change and national security

    Your editorial "The danger of climate denial" (May 22) offered a dismal forecast, yet some people continue to deny that climate change is real or that it is caused at least in part by human activity.

  • Holding one's breath, GOP style

    Holding one's breath, GOP style

    Last month, the Obama administration announced tougher Clean Air Act rules intended to reduce ground-level ozone, the chief component of the smog that plagues the Baltimore-Washington area and much of the nation. With at least half the pollution blowing into Maryland from the burning of fossil...

  • GDP must consider environmental costs

    GDP must consider environmental costs

    The Sun's recent editorial about the GOP's intention to gut the EPA's authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions touches on an important economic issue ("Holding one's breath, GOP-style," Dec. 9).

  • Is Obama overly ambitious on ozone regulations?

    Is Obama overly ambitious on ozone regulations?

    President Barack Obama has a narrowing window to secure a legacy in which he can take pride and which historians will applaud and note with favor. Freed from having to run for office ever again, President Obama can focus on his legacy, work to ensure that a Democrat succeeds him in the White House...

  • Smog limits are badly needed

    Smog limits are badly needed

    Maryland has the worst air on the East Coast and highest premature death rate in the nation. National Academy of Sciences data suggest that health impacts resulting from fossil fuels cost $73 per household per month in Maryland and are a drag on the economy. Yet conservative deniers and their self-serving,...

  • A healthier way to fly

    A healthier way to fly

    Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took the first step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes. The rule-making process will take months if not years, but the lingering question is, how will the proposed regulations fit with what other countries are doing about...

  • City smog threatens our health and the economy

    City smog threatens our health and the economy

    The EPA's recent decision to tighten limits on smog pollution is commendable and necessary ("Holding one's breath, GOP style," Dec. 8).

  • Forget hurricanes, the real threat to Md. is the rising sea level

    Forget hurricanes, the real threat to Md. is the rising sea level

    Your editorial "Don't take hurricanes lightly" (June 7) noted the threat hurricanes pose to Maryland, but the oceans hold much deadlier and persistent danger: Sea level rise.

Comments
Loading
84°