Letter writer: Set the record straight on carbon fees

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’d like to set the record straight on a few facts concerning the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the carbon fee and dividend. The letter from Michael Ivey in the July 8 Xpress, [“Climate-change Believers Betray Their Naiveté“], labels climate activists as “naive,” “brainwashed” and “misinformed.” Actually, 97 percent of climate scientists are in consensus about the fact that human-generated CO2, methane and nitrous oxides are causing runaway climate change. Are these scientists naive?

Anne Craig’s previous letter, [Local Group Lobbies for Climate Change Action,” June 24 Xpress], clearly stated that the proposed carbon fee and dividend would return all of the fee ($15 per ton of CO2) collected in the form of a dividend to every household. Less than 1 percent of it will be spent in administrative costs. Of course, the fee will result in higher prices for gasoline, heating oil, natural gas and coal-fired electricity for the consumer. However, the dividend would offset this burden for two-thirds of the public — all but the most profligate users of fossil fuel. (Private jet owners, take heed!) The fee is revenue-neutral.

An apple from Chile will cost more than one grown locally. So which one will you buy? As the cost of heating your home goes up, you might spend your dividend on improving your insulation. Everyone but the big fossil fuel companies wins. The economy will be stimulated, while health and environmental costs are avoided. In 10 years, over 2 million jobs will be created, while up to 17,000 lives will be spared per year due to the drop in pollution and prevention of extreme weather.

 — Cathy Holt

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3 thoughts on “Letter writer: Set the record straight on carbon fees

  1. Grant Milin

    I like the fundamental idea of a fee and dividend carbon tax, but there are other dependencies I’m afraid Citizens’ Climate Lobby folks leave out. I’m still interested in participating in CCL activities, but like the Sierra Club, there’s a lot of artificial limitations right now.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Barbra Boxer are co-sponsors of the Climate Protection Act. While some of the numbers might get changed, CPA has more of the details fleshed out. The CPA provides a sharper target than simply asking for a fee and dividend carbon tax.


    • I am pretty much in favor of anything that mitigates the damages caused by a changing climate, but I prefer to raise the cost of producing CO2 and let the market sort out solutions rather than having the government picking the winners. Your proposal puts deciding what to fund in the hands of the government, and does not offset the regressive nature of increasing energy costs.

  2. Grant Millin

    Hi Chris,

    That’s your preferences, but keep in mind US GOV has to issue and distribute the fees and dividends. There’s a lot of command and control here.

    Next, this is a Sanders/Boxer bill… not mine.

    Finally, markets break. Duke Energy can’t be stopped by the current solar business lobby. What Duke is offering is broken in compare to what’s needed in the next 5-10 year’s to stay within our carbon budget.

    Expect government intervention.

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