To the Editor:
I enjoyed seeing the Chatham News + Record begin 2022 with a review of key stories from last year. The environment section described local officials starting to take action to address climate change. This is exciting and commendable and a great start, but after a year of record-breaking weather events exacerbated by climate change, it is clear we need to use every tool at our disposal and work on a bold solution at the federal level.
The most important of these tools is a carbon price. Modeling from Resources for the Future shows a carbon price alone starting at $15/ton could reduce emissions 45% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Rep. David Price (D-N.C., 4th Dist.), who represents half of the county, has worked with the Biden administration on climate legislation. However, without the climate measures included in Build Back Better and a price on carbon, the U.S. will fail to meet the 50% reduction promise that Biden pledged on Earth Day. Congress must continue to work to reach an agreement on this legislation and pass it.
And the money from a carbon fee could be returned to American households. A carbon price becomes affordable for ordinary Americans when the funds collected from polluters are given as a dividend, or “carbon cashback” payment, to every American. This protects low- and middle-income Americans who otherwise might not be able to afford the transition.
This plan would incentivize everywhere the kind of action local officials are exploring in Chatham County.
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