As syndicated columnist Megan McArdle noted July 23 (“Carbon tariffs are not a real response to climate change,” Page A11),  “Global warming is a genuine cost of emitting carbon … .” And lately, that’s a cost we’ve all been feeling. While Maine hasn’t experienced the incredible heat of the West Coast or the extreme flooding of Europe, our environment is still changing.

I grew up in the Lake Region school district, and I don’t remember summer temperatures of 90 degrees during my childhood. Back then, it also wasn’t a hardship not to have air conditioning in homes or cars.

These days, though, that’s no longer the case. I’m still working from home because of COVID, and without air conditioning, it was a real struggle trying to stay focused during the 90-degree days earlier this year. And I know it will only get worse from here.

That’s why we need to significantly reduce our emissions, and I agree with McArdle that a carbon tariff won’t get us there. Instead, our best option is a carbon fee, such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

A carbon fee is likely to lower future temperatures more than any other single measure. It’s also quicker to implement than other approaches. Also, as McArdle noted, an approach like this encourages innovation and competition.

As such, a carbon fee is the best way to arrive at a solution that will put America at the forefront of reducing emissions instead of generating them.

Erica Bartlett

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