I appreciate the perspective in Gregory Morrow’s letter to the editor (“Carbon tax makes things more costly,” Jan. 28) but would like to clarify the differences between his concept of a carbon tax and the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), which was recently introduced in Congress.

While it is true that any carbon tax/fee would increase the price of carbon-intensive goods (with exceptions for agricultural and military uses), it is important to note that the fee imposed by this bill would be completely redistributed to every taxpayer regardless of their carbon emissions as a monthly dividend check.

For most, especially us Mainers, who have a smaller carbon footprint than the national average, this would be a financial net benefit. Industry and the wealthy, who currently have a large carbon footprint, would be encouraged to invest in greener technologies, while average- and below-average-income citizens get a needed financial boost – and all without increasing federal oversight or the size of government.

Mr. Morrow is right to be concerned that a carbon tax would make for a difficult transition away from fossil fuels. However, this legislation provides the market mechanism to move us away from carbon emissions (as there are currently in China, India, Europe and every other industrialized region) while providing the assistance for those who need help with that transition. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who speak highly of this legislation, recently wrote: “Low-income individuals will overwhelmingly benefit from this policy.”

Eventually, as climate change creates more obvious economic and environmental hardships, something will have to be done about our carbon emissions. Why not encourage Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden and Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to choose this path, which would help the average working American?

Peter Dugas

volunteer, Citizens’ Climate Lobby


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