Carbon pricing would reduce emissions, help address climate change

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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.

Steve Woolford
Silk Hope

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