The carbon fee solution
Re “Biden should impose a carbon fee immediately” (Opinion, June 1): I wholeheartedly agree. Yet the president has not even mentioned it. If you search Whitehouse.gov, you will get thousands of hits for “rescue plan” or “infrastructure” or “EV” but not a single document for “carbon fee.” The most potent antidote to climate change remains on the sideline. Why?
Could it be due to fossil fuel lobby pressure?
The fossil fuel companies tolerate investments in electric vehicles and alternative energy plans because the current and near-term impact is small compared with current fossil fuel revenues and profit. But a carbon fee and dividend would drastically reduce fossil fuel businesses — quickly. Which is exactly why we the people must overcome the lobbyists and be heard by our elected officials — including the president.
Please urge President Biden and your legislators to support a carbon fee and dividend.
The author is a member of Business Climate Leaders, a nonprofit and nonpartisan climate advocacy group.
James Hansen and Daniel Galpern have presented the most eloquent case for immediate action to establish a price on carbon via carbon fee and dividend that I have ever read (”Biden should impose a carbon fee immediately”). This should really be backstopped by passage of a bill introduced in the US House of Representatives, H.R. 2307, to make it law. CFAD has been the bipartisan project of the grass-roots Citizens Climate Lobby for over a decade as the single most practical, fair, and effective measure that we can take to address the climate crisis. Kudos to the Globe for this op-ed.
Sierra Madre, Calif.
Re “Biden should impose a carbon fee immediately”: In a time of more and more frightening climate news, this op-ed gave me real hope. Imposing a refundable carbon tax would be the kind of systemic change that could actually make a serious difference — and now we’ve learned, as the authors point out, that the president wouldn’t have to win over recalcitrant Republicans to implement it.
Carbon fees reduce the amount of fossil fuels released into the atmosphere by charging for their true costs. The higher costs for carbon will result in quicker movement to renewables. And the redistribution of the fees back to the people will almost certainly make the policy popular, while building social equity.
There’s potential here for big change. The president should grab this chance to build a legacy as a powerful climate protector.
We must deal now with carbon emissions, which are a major cause of climate disruption, affecting our health and safety. The authors note that the EPA has the authority to impose a user fee on carbon emissions from oil, gas, and coal companies. A temporary increase in consumer prices can be offset by passing on the fee as a dividend to American families. Economists endorse the concept of a carbon fee and dividend. Hansen, a climatologist and NASA scientist, has been sending that message to Congress since 1988. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have risen to the challenge. Writing or calling President Biden now to encourage his action is key to our survival.
I was convinced by James Hansen that we needed to stop climate change in the 1980s, when we were both working for NASA. I was not able to believe there was a way at the time, but I have since learned of the fee and dividend plan that can stop climate change while stimulating our economy and protecting the poor.
The approach of having President Biden impose a fee could work. But I would rather see Congress pass H. R. 2307, which would do what Hansen and Galpern propose. The bill can be passed in a bipartisan manner. Democrats need to stop trying to spend government money and pass regulations to slow climate change; they will not do the job like a fee will. Republicans need to stop worrying about stopping Democratic proposals and get behind H. R. 2307, which will use the markets to stop climate change in the most effective way while protecting our economy and trade.
Huntington Beach, Calif.