Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich’s retelling of climate scientist Michael Mann’s story of the “Crying Indian” (Oct. 17) is commendable. In Maine, and some other states, it resulted in bottle bills to keep trash off our roadsides with a 5-cent bonus on returnables.

Kesich noted that government is needed again to avoid the worst of the careening climate crisis by enacting systemic change. The change receiving most publicity in the Build Back Better Act is known as the Clean Electricity Performance Program. Its goal to the nation’s energy systems uses either bonuses or penalties to incentivize the switch to renewables by electricity generators. However, Sen. Joe Manchin recently signaled that he cannot go with that plan.

Far better is a comprehensive plan advocated by Mann: namely, carbon pricing. It would involve a steadily rising price on all fossil (carbon) fuels, based upon their emissions when burned.

Expect industry to be the first to respond. They’d reduce their use of fossil fuels for manufacture and transport in order to keep their retail prices down. Revenues from the fee on fossil fuels would come to everyone as equal dividend checks, incentivizing each of us to make smaller changes to protect our domestic budgets. Finally, a carbon border adjustment would incentivize other countries to follow suit.

Canada, the EU and another 40 industrial countries have already initiated the pricing of carbon emissions. And the Senate Finance Committee is planning to incorporate carbon pricing in the reconciliation package. So please call your senators and President Biden urging their support!

Peter Garrett

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