In April, the Business Roundtable announced its support for carbon pricing, which would signal markets to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, invest in clean energy and otherwise “encourage the development and deployment of technologies to reduce [carbon] emissions. The Roundtable – including big companies like Amazon and Google – is “an association of CEOs from America’s leading companies working to promote a thriving American economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.” I commend the Round Table for its forward thinking on mitigating climate change.
For decades, leading economists have touted carbon pricing as an effective mechanism to steer the economy away from coal, oil and methane. Carbon pricing, they acknowledge, would push businesses and consumers toward renewables more effectively than regulation would, due to its reliance on market forces rather than government bureaucracy.
I am encouraged that the American Petroleum Institute also supports carbon pricing, adding that royalties collected should be returned, in equal parts, to households and invested in new technologies. These rebates would protect low-income households from energy price increases. API recommends starting fees at $35 to $50 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions, with annual adjustments.
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With sea level rise accelerating and hurricanes, droughts and floods intensifying, climate change mitigation is more important than ever. Moreover, the war in Ukraine has reminded America of the risks of depending on oil states – like Russia – for energy supplies. Reducing America’s consumption of fossil fuels is therefore essential to our continued economic prosperity, health, and even national security.
I urge readers this week to contact Reps. Chris Jacobs and Brian Higgins, and ask them to support a carbon fee system with cash back to households.