The March 6 letter “Maine should follow Florida on climate” cites the recently formed congressional Climate Solutions Caucus as an example of the bipartisan cooperation we need to have real solutions to climate change. The new caucus calls for “economically viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy.”

We actually already have an economically viable solution to climate change that’s been successful in British Columbia for eight years now, slashing emissions while lowering energy bills and taxes. Their economy has thrived. (The Economist, “The Evidence Mounts”)

It’s called carbon fee-and-dividend: A carbon pollution fee is paid on all fossil fuels — oil, natural gas and coal — and it’s given, not to the government, but directly to the public in equal monthly “dividend” checks. As the fee increases annually, people can make a profit by switching to cheaper clean energy. This is projected to increase U.S. GDP by $75-80 billion annually (Citizen Climate Lobby).

This plan uses conservative, market-based economics, not government regulations, and it doesn’t cost consumers or taxpayers anything. It will also create more than 5 million permanent (40-year) jobs (Stanford University’s solutionsproject.org), save Americans more than $866.5 billion annually in medical bills (Fortune) and prevent over 300,000 American lives othrwise lost of carbon pollution (Nature, the world’s most highly-cited peer-reviewed science journal).

And the enormous economic benefits are something both parties should surely support, climate change aside.

Then there are the disastrous costs of failing to transition to clean energy now. Nature projects the costs of future climate change, should we fail to phase out fossil fuels soon, will be over $369 trillion. Americans have already paid over $1 trillion for climate change disasters, and it’s just beginning.

Let’s let Congress know we want a revenue-neutral carbon fee.

Pete Kuntz

Lancaster, Penn.


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