With the passing of the nation’s largest infrastructure bill since the 1950s, Americans should feel reassured knowing that bipartisanship still plays a significant role in policymaking down in D.C. Maine’s own Sen. Susan Collins was a key negotiator who, once again, proved her strong leadership and common sense approach delivers for Mainers.

Now these same bipartisan leaders have a clear opportunity to point their gaze toward solutions for combating the climate challenge, and the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan is the best place to start. This approach would cut U.S. carbon emissions in half and create 1.6 million jobs by 2035.

Other climate proposals, like the Green New Deal, overcommit and underdeliver. They would create unrealistic burdens that too often fall on small businesses and struggling state economies, making effective climate action less politically feasible.

By contrast, the Baker-Shultz plan would put the American people and our job creators first. It would charge fossil fuel companies a fee for their emissions – thus incentivizing clean-energy innovation and development – and return all of the revenue collected to the American people as direct checks. The plan will also compel other countries to do their part by holding them accountable for their own emissions. Under this framework, the bottom eight out of 10 Maine households, on average, will come out ahead.

Just as Sen. Collins said the recently passed infrastructure bill was “good for America,” a bill proposing the Baker-Shultz strategy would be great for America and the planet we’re blessed to call home.

Anna Zmistowski
chair emerita, University of Maine College Republicans; student, University of Maine School of Law
Auburn


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