I was heartened by the recent editorial (“Our View: Congress gets its last, best chance at meaningful climate action,” Sept. 19), in which the editorial board stresses the catastrophic consequences of climate change and the urgency of taking action to curb the worsening effects of fossil fuels. But their argument ultimately suggests that we should let politics outweigh “literally billions of people” by holding off on carbon pricing for a later bill. As a young Mainer with my life – and hopefully a family of my own – ahead of me, I could not disagree more.

Incentivizing clean energy – the editorial board’s favored policy – will go only so far without discouraging carbon pollution at the same time. An economy-wide price on carbon is projected to reduce America’s carbon pollution by half by 2030, and get us to net zero by 2050. Along the way, the money collected from the fee would be given as a monthly dividend, or “carbon cash back” payment, to every American to spend with no restrictions.

As for politics, we have enough votes now to enact carbon pricing. Eighty percent of voters say they want Congress to reach a bipartisan solution on climate change, and 75 percent of young Republicans support putting a price on carbon. This offers a meaningful opportunity for Republican senators to appeal to young voters by stepping up on climate change. (Sen. Susan Collins, I’m looking at you!)

Now is the time to build a livable future. Now is the time for carbon pricing.

Sorrel Dunn

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: