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Opinion >  Letters

Carbon tax won’t work

The Spokesman-Review

Bert Caldwell’s column “Good intentions likely won’t save cap-and-trade plan” (March 22) recommends a national carbon tax, which is not our best choice for reducing carbon emissions. It seems unlikely to garner much traction in this state or the other Washington.

A carbon tax will not ensure emission reductions and leaves the door open for businesses to pass the tax cost onto consumers while not actually reducing CO2 emissions. That is nothing more than business as usual.

Cap-and-trade, in contrast, rewards those who reduce emissions by enabling them to sell unused pollution allowances to the less efficient. That’s the incentive or “trade” side of cap-and-trade. The “cap” limits the overall amount of CO2 emissions allowed to achieve needed reductions. Together, the cap-and-trade can be a more effective strategy than a carbon tax.

We need to continue the crucial climate change discussion to be in a position to shape and benefit from any emerging federal strategy. Personally, I hope that strategy includes cap-and-trade as one of the most effective means for curbing CO2.

State Sen. Phil Rockefeller

Bainbridge Island, Wash.


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