Slap a fee on fos­sil fu­els and the world’s cli­mate will im­prove im­me­di­ately

Chicago Sun-Times - - OPINION -

One of my fa­vorite child­hood sto­ries was of the Dutch boy who saved his com­mu­nity by stand­ing stead­fastly all night long with his fin­ger plugged in a leak­ing dike. A Sun-Times edi­to­rial on Aug. 19 points to two new leaks in the na­tional dike pro­tect­ing our cli­mate.

For­tu­nately, we don’t have to stand all night try­ing to plug the dike, wait­ing for help. We al­ready have the anal­y­sis of cli­mate sci­en­tists that green­house gas emis­sions are at the core of the cli­mate cri­sis. We also have their rec­om­men­da­tion that a na­tional price on car­bon could play a crit­i­cal role in tran­si­tion­ing our econ­omy to clean en­ergy. We can act now.

The bi­par­ti­san En­ergy In­no­va­tion Act puts a price on car­bon. By im­pos­ing a ris­ing fee on fos­sil fu­els, it would re­duce CO2 emis­sions by 40% in just 12 years.

While the bill won’t plug all the leaks in our ef­forts to mit­i­gate cli­mate change, it would place such ef­forts on a more solid foun­da­tion. Con­gres­sional leg­is­la­tion is more dif­fi­cult to gore than ex­ec­u­tive or­ders. My rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Congress, Jan Schakowsky, is a cospon­sor of this bill. Is your rep­re­sen­ta­tive a cospon­sor? Laura Win­ston, Evanston

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