To the editor:
President Obama recently challenged our nation to combat climate change. Lacking a “market-based solution” from Congress, he promised to take action on his own. Republican lawmakers who find the prospect of further government regulations on power plants unacceptable should consider backing a revenue-neutral tax on carbon.
Recent record heat, drought and numerous climate-related disasters that unfolded in 2012 make it clear we must take steps to reduce the rising CO2 levels linked to the warming of our planet. A revenue-neutral carbon fee could be just the solution we need.
Such a fee, gradually increasing in predictable increments, would provide the necessary market stimulus to encourage entrepreneurs to develop viable energy alternatives. This would result in new jobs. The public would be protected from shouldering the burden of increased energy costs by having the fee’s revenue returned directly to them. A border tariff imposed on goods from nations lacking similar carbon-pricing schemes would not only protect American energy producers, but also provide incentives for other nations to initiate policies to limit greenhouse emissions.
Exxon, Shell and BP have already expressed support for a price on carbon. Many conservative economists support a revenue-neutral carbon tax, including Art Laffer, economic adviser to President Reagan, and Greg Mankiw, economic adviser to President George W. Bush, and candidate Mitt Romney. With this kind of bipartisan support already in place, what’s holding Congress back?
It is time to demand Rep. Lynn Jenkins, and Sens. Roberts and Moran, take action on this issue.