How to cut air pollution in Maryland
Regarding your report “Maryland won’t join lawsuit against EPA over interstate pollution” (Oct. 15), what we have here is a failure to remunerate.
Six northeastern states are suing to force the EPA to hold nine Midwestern and Southern states accountable for the air pollution they send downwind, which is causing damage here for which we are not being compensated. This issue has been on EPA’s plate for three years and will likely drag on a lot longer.
It doesn’t have to drag on. There is a simpler solution that will reduce air pollution, including harmful greenhouse gases. That is a nationwide revenue neutral fee on fossil fuels when they are extracted from the ground or at their first port of entry into the country.
This fee would then be returned to every American family in the form of a monthly dividend check. The fee would start out low and gradually rise on an annual basis, so as to not cause an economic shock and be predictable. Freemarket forces would cause people to switch to cleaner fuel sources and conserve energy.
The monthly dividend would help defray the increased costs of goods and services, especially for low-income households. Further, the fee and dividend would spur businesses to invest in cleaner alternative energy and greener technology. The dividend will create an overall stimulus to the economy.
If you think the benefits of a Carbon Fee and Dividend sound too good to be true, they’re not. British Columbia instituted a carbon tax with associated cuts in personal and business taxes along with an increase in low-income credit in 2008.
By 2014, it had cut its fossil fuel use by 16 percent compared to a 3 percent increase for Canada overall, and its economy outperformed the rest of Canada’s.
With a new Congress taking office in January, there is a great opportunity to push for similar carbon fee and dividend legislation here in the U.S.