What is the right answer on the climate solutions quiz, the great test of our time?
Top-down directives for green infrastructure? Not if we want to keep American jobs secure, energy reliable and affordable, and technological ingenuity strong, argues Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, lead Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Instead, we need market-led innovation in the energy sector. Which resource do we tick, then? Wind and solar? Hydro? Nuclear? Surely not fossil fuels? “All-of-the-above,” she tells us.
Hold on. Before choosing that last box, how are we doing on time? To limit global warming to the critical 2-degrees C., we’ve got to be at zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. That’s the rationale for top-down.
There’s a way to stay on schedule, though, while safeguarding jobs, affordable energy, and technological initiative. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act now in Congress puts a price on carbon and distributes the revenue to Americans. The market will drive up investments in clean energy innovation. The annual increase in the carbon fee to reach net zero emissions by 2050 allows time for the transition to new green jobs and energy. And for most Americans, the monthly dividend will more than offset the net increase in fuel and energy costs.
Urge Rep. McMorris Rodgers to co-sponsor the EICDA and use her leadership in the GOP to bring others on board. Then “all-of-the-above” will indeed be the right answer.