Carbon tax bill would pay dividends

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To the Editor;
Climate change is a polarizing issue everywhere, including Congress. So far it has been impossible to pass bipartisan legislation to address it. Citizens Climate Lobby, a national nonpartisan organization, is working on this. They helped bring about last month’s introduction of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act by a bipartisan group in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill would reduce carbon pollution and bring climate change under control by charging a fee on fossil fuels.

The “dividend” is where every citizen could get a payment equal to about $500 per year, to offset the rise in prices resulting from the fee. The entire amount of money raised by the fee imposed on fossil fuels would be returned every year to us in the form of the dividend, keeping our overall yearly expenses from increasing. The idea is to make the energy market gradually drive down the use of fossil fuels, while accelerating development of alternative energy sources, without causing financial hardship to the average citizen.

The bill would create and estimated 2.1 million new jobs over the next decade and gradually reduce the $240 billion lost each year because of air pollution-related health and environmental costs, like those because of the mercury in Maine’s freshwater lakes and streams, and Maine’s high childhood asthma rates.

Bob Lodato

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