I agree with Peter Monro, writing in these pages on Feb. 26, that the best place we Mainers can effect meaningful change on climate policy is at the national level. Monro could have also written that, according to modeling by Rhodium, the Inflation Reduction Act recently passed in Congress is projected to get us only some of the way to our Paris Accord goal of reducing fossil fuel pollution 50% by 2030. We need more federal action on climate.

Still, the Inflation Reduction Act was a great start. We now have tax credits and rebates in place, carrots that might inspire consumers to pursue electrification and energy efficiency. Federal clean-energy permitting reform and a national carbon price, which makes fossil fuel companies pay for their pollution, should come next. They will enable the U.S. to make its Paris climate goal.

If 100% of fee revenue is returned to Americans as a monthly dividend, 85% of households will come out financially ahead or break even despite the increased prices caused by the fee. This solution would be effective and relatively simple to implement and wouldn’t grow the size of government.

Studies indicate that businesses would thrive and jobs would be created with a “carbon cash back” policy. Communities dealing with premature deaths and respiratory illness because of fossil fuel pollution in their neighborhoods could celebrate the return of clean air.

Please urge Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Jared Golden to join Rep. Chellie Pingree and support such a bill when it is reintroduced.

Sam Saltonstall

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