Dateline St. George, Utah “Record Drought Strains the Southwest” the March 9 Wall Street Journal reported “For the first time ever, rancher Jimmie Hughes saw all 15 of the ponds he keeps for his cattle dry up at the same time this year.” Climate change is NOT a future risk. It’s here now and costing us lives and money, both individual and taxpayer dollars.

How quickly we forget the 2020 wildfires, the Texas electricity debacle, and record flooding in the U.S. and in Australia. Hardly a day goes by without a climate-related disaster somewhere in the world.

The most effective and conservative way to address climate disruption is with a carbon fee. The proposed bipartisan, revenue neutral Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act would place a fee on carbon producers. Dividends would be paid to all Americans. Fully 80% of Americans would receive more dividends than what they would pay in higher prices. Economists agree that a carbon fee is the most efficient mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. No other policy can match its economy-wide effects in changing investment decisions and individual behavior.

The carbon dividends plan generates an extra $190 billion in economic output per year, on average, while achieving the same emissions reductions as a regulatory approach, according to NERA Economic Consulting. As both policies drive deeper emission cuts, the gap widens further: by 2036, GDP is $420 billion higher each year under the carbon dividends approach. According to the Climate Leadership Council the plan would create 1.6 million jobs and drive $1.4 trillion in innovation.

Carbon pricing is more effective than government regulations and is supported by the American Petroleum Institute (the oil industry’s top lobbyist), the Business Roundtable, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Shell, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips. It’s time for a price on carbon.

Jean Lown


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