Reed Hamilton: Best option: a fee on carbon fuels
The Health Effects of Climate Change forum that took place Nov. 13 in Nevada City, followed by the article in The Union by Sam Corey, emphasized how we are all feeling the effects of a warming world.
Dirty air and heat waves affect us older folks and our children and grandchildren everywhere in California. I know many people in the foothills were suffering increasingly strong allergic effects and asthma before the fires. However, last year when the Camp Fire was raging, my relatives, including my little granddaughter, had to take refuge from the smoke up here. It sounds like we will see more of that, seeking a place out of the smoke.
We need to do something right now about these health threats. A fee on carbon fuels is viewed as the best option by 3,554 economists who published a piece in the Wall St. Journal. There are a number of carbon fee bills in Congress now, but the one that goes right to the heart of the matter is HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. It has a yearly-rising fee but all the money collected, minus a 2% administrative cost, gets returned to the citizens as a yearly dividend to offset the increased cost of goods. That allows the markets to figure out ways to use less fuel as we consumers look for less carbon-intensive products. Less regulation, but still reducing CO2 emissions by 40% in 12 years.
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