“When you’re in a hole, stop digging” is good advice: Beneficial climate legislation uses the same principle: reducing fossil fuel consumption to stop worsening the problem.
Economists say the best way to reduce fossil fuel consumption is to raise the carbon price. Ideally, this price would reflect fossil fuels’ “negative externalities.” But how could it? A price reflecting the devastating excess carbon dioxide impact would only be affordable for millionaires. However, while this pricing problem appears intractable, it isn’t because the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR2307) already has a solution.
HR2307 charges fossil fuel producers a steadily increasing carbon fee and sends 97% of this money to consumers as a monthly dividend. So the producers will raise their fuel prices, but as long as a consumer doesn’t have a huge carbon footprint, they will have enough money to pay for this increase.
HR2307 trusts people to find innovative ways to avoid wasting their monthly dividends on expensive carbon fuels. These innovations will spread quickly through the free market, and it is this mechanism that makes HR2307 so effective.
Join the nonpartisan Palouse Citizens’ Climate Lobby (cclpalouse.org) and help make HR2307 happen.
Simon A. Smith