Contributors of two recent pieces in this newspaper, “Setback for carbon taxes” (column, Dec. 15) and “Carbon tax has too many side effects” (letter, Dec. 30) misrepresent details about The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Bill, H.R. 7173, recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. I’ll offer four points to set the record straight.

1. Those advocating for this legislation have indeed considered its impacts. According to an in-depth economic modeling study, H.R. 7173 will reduce carbon emissions 40 percent within 12 years, generate over 2 million new jobs in renewable energy over the coming decade, and pay a monthly dividend to each household to offset increased costs of carbon-based products and fuels for all but the most wealthy.

2. This is a revenue-neutral program. All fees collected will be paid up front to each household, with only 2 percent of fees going to administration. No funds can be appropriated for other government programs.

3. Republicans as well as Democrats support this well-thought-out proposal as it is good for the economy, people, and the planet.

4. The recent carbon tax in France did not return money to citizens in the form of a dividend. Had it done so, the ensuing riots may have been avoided.

Under carbon fee and dividend in British Columbia, emissions were reduced while the economy grew. Canada will soon implement a similar program countrywide.

Many other countries are using carbon fees to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Whether you agree with the anthropogenic cause for climate change, it is clear that we need alternative fuel sources. This legislation will move us in that direction. It’s time for the U.S. to stop lagging behind on this critical issue. Carbon fee and dividend may be our best chance to transition away from fossil fuels and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Bonnie Sammons


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