To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Kudos on your excellent editorial May 11 ("Global warming is a local issue") highlighting some of the dangers that climate change presents locally to Massachusetts, the actions already taken by us locally, and the need for concerted national and international effort to lower emissions before it is too late. The best way to motivate all Americans to lower their emissions is by Congress enacting a national carbon tax paid by fossil fuel producers based on the emissions caused by their products. To protect low and middle income consumers from increases in energy prices, the tax revenues should be rebated to households.
Furthermore, the best way to motivate foreign nations to join us in this effort is for a U.S. carbon tax to be charged on imports from countries that do not have a similar carbon taxing system. This is the best system for reducing emissions because when you tax something that society doesn’t want, the tax makes the thing disappear. Moreover, taxing fossil fuels will inspire investors to move their investments into clean energy projects leading to growth in clean energy businesses, which already are thriving in Massachusetts.
Unfortunately, many Repub-
lican senators do not appreciate the elegance of a carbon tax and rebate system. For example, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), wrote legislation to make it harder for Congress to pass a carbon tax. He insists his legislation will protect lower and middle income American families from skyrocketing energy costs.
Sadly, Senator Blunt doesn’t acknowledge that EPA regulations raise energy prices without providing families with rebate checks. Moreover, Senator Blunt ignores the flooding that have been destroying families’ homes, the droughts that are increasing families’ food costs, and the health issues that escalate their medical expenses. He ignores the harm severe weather events cause our economy, as well as the great stimulus that can come from new innovations and investments in cheap, clean energy. Moreover other Republican senators, like Susan Collins, John McCain and Lamar Alexander, understand the need for a carbon tax and rebate, but are not joining President Obama in educating the public.
Readers should please ask Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey to speak with Senators Blunt, Collins, McCain and Alexander about the urgent need for carbon tax legislation to stabilize the climate.
The writer is a member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, an organization of volunteers lobbying for legislation to stabilize the climate.