Bipartisan resolution an affordable solution
In his recent op-ed, “Virginia cannot afford the Transportation and Climate Initiative,” former House Speaker William Howell opposes the possibility of Virginia beginning to introduce a regional carbon tax because of the costs to consumers. While I understand this concern, it would have been helpful for him to suggest an alternative to curb greenhouse gas emissions, as we so desperately need to do.
Since Howell did not offer an alternative, I’ll share a promising idea. We indeed can impose a fee on fossil fuels, creating market incentives for less pollution and more clean energy. And if we do this on a national scale, we then can return the revenue to American households in equal shares as a monthly dividend. Low- and middle-income households tend to have smaller carbon footprints, so the dividend will outweigh any increased costs they face. Concerned about the national debt? Good news: This approach does not grow the debt at all. This idea has been introduced with Republican and Democratic support in the U.S. House of Representatives: House Resolution 763, the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. It’s on the table. Our elected leaders on both sides of the aisle just need to step up and pass it.
We don’t have time for critiques of climate policies without genuine efforts to bring
forward alternatives. We don’t have time for an unwillingness to work across the aisle. As a millennial who hopes to continue inhabiting this planet for decades to come, I’m imploring all leaders — from municipal governments to Congress— to step up and lead. Virginia cannot afford the costs of not acting to preserve our climate. ROSEHENDRICKS.