Opinion

Bill would address climate change through ‘fee and dividend’

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To the Editor;
Climate change is such a polarizing issue that passing bipartisan legislation to address it has been out of range, till now. Citizens Climate Lobby, a national nonpartisan organization, recently helped introduce the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, by a bipartisan group in the U.S. House of Representatives. Enacted into law, this bill would reduce carbon pollution and bring climate change under control by charging a fee on fossil fuels. The idea is called “fee and dividend.”

The bill uses the market to gradually increase the price of (and decrease the use of) fossil fuels, while accelerating development of alternative energy sources, without causing financial hardship to the average citizen. Republicans wanted this bill to be revenue neutral, neither adding to the federal budget nor taking money from citizens. Thus, every citizen will get a payment (the dividend) roughly equal to the rise in prices resulting from the fee. After funding the cost of administering the program, every cent raised by the fee imposed on fossil fuels will be returned to us in the form of a dividend, paid to each household every month.

The bill would create 2.1 million new jobs over the next decade and gradually reduce the $240 billion lost each year due to air pollution-related health and environmental costs (like those due to the mercury in Maine’s freshwater lakes and streams and Maine’s high childhood asthma rates). To help make this law become a reality, contact lauriesproul65@gmail.com. To learn more about CCL, their website is citizensclimatelobby.org.

Bob Lodato
Charleston

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