Opinion

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Letter

Support Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act

We need to provide a monetary incentive for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change! What can we do about this overwhelming problem? There is something remarkably simple and feasible that we can do.

We need to provide a monetary incentive for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There are several bills before Congress with this objective, but one that has bipartisan support is HR 763 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019. This act would place a predictable, steadily rising price on the production of greenhouse gases and return the money collected to the American people. This act is unique because all the fees collected, minus administrative costs, would be allocated in equal shares to all Americans as monthly dividend checks and would not go into the US Treasury.

This fee would be levied on carbon-based oil, gas and coal at the source (well, mine, port of entry) and would start at $15 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted. It would steadily and predictably increase each year by $10. Fuel prices would gradually start to increase, but so would the dividends we receive. For the majority of us higher fuel prices would be completely offset by our dividends.

In just 12 years this act is expected to reduce carbon emissions by at least 40 percent. Clean energy would become cheaper than fossil fuels, giving entrepreneurs and investors the incentive to develop clean energy sources and alternative technologies (think electric cars). The power of the free market would produce the most competitive solutions to our climate problem.

Many leading economists believe this strategy is the best way to decrease carbon pollution without onerous regulations. For more information visit the bipartisan Climate Leadership Council’s website https://www.clcouncil.org/.

How can you help? Contact Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester and Rep. Greg Gianforte today. Ask them to cosponsor and support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Kris Newgard
Troy