Thank you to Anya Fetcher of Environment Maine for her thoughtful op-ed, “To keep the air clear after COVID-19, take steps for clean transportation” (May 1). We should all share Ms. Fetcher’s concern for our environment, and I applaud her and the Press Herald for their continuing work toward better stewardship of our world.

She mentions carbon pricing and specifically the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regional Transportation and Climate Initiative as encouraging developments. I would like to add that a national carbon pricing bill – the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763) – is currently in the U.S. House and has bipartisan support from over 70 co-sponsors, including Rep. Chellie Pingree.

While regional initiatives are indeed laudable, we need national policy to prevent neighboring states from polluting our air. Furthermore, HR 763 mandates the carbon proceeds to be returned to each taxpayer as a monthly dividend check which creates a positive feedback loop where we are all incentivized to invest in a cleaner future. A national carbon fee and dividend – or “carbon cash-back” program – is projected to have the U.S. exceed our Paris protocol goals within eight years, create 2.1 million U.S. jobs and predominantly benefit low- and middle-income Americans.

With the world facing the horrors of COVID-19 and the resulting economic hardships, and with looming climate catastrophe on our doorstep, we must implore Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to support a national carbon cash-back program by introducing the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act in the U.S. Senate.

Peter Dugas

Citizens’ Climate Lobby


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