To the editor:
Until now, the true costs of fossil fuels (pollution, rising seas, ocean acidification, etc.) are not reflected in consumer prices. In her letter to the editor, “Another way to protect against climate change” (Salem News, Dec. 22, 2014), Judy Weiss supported a carbon tax on fossil fuels. But wouldn’t such a tax impose a heavy burden on the average household?
That question was recently addressed in a national study conducted by Regional Economic Modeling, Inc., a respected, nonpartisan economic think tank. Specifically, REMI modeled the impact of imposing fees on fossil fuels at their sources and redistributing those fees equitably to every U.S. household in order to compensate them for increased energy costs.
The study measured impacts on 160 industries and reached the following conclusions if such a strategy were implemented:
1. In 20 years, carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced 50 percent below 1990 levels.
2. The economic stimulus of recycling fees back to households would add 2.8 million jobs in 20 years.
3. Improved air quality would result in the prevention of 230,000 premature deaths over 20 years.
This “fee and demand” approach is gaining traction among legislators on both sides of the aisle. For more information, contact Citizens Climate Lobby at firstname.lastname@example.org, or join us at our next meeting, Saturday, Jan 17, 9 a.m. at the First Church, 316 Essex St., Salem. All are welcome.
I believe this innovative approach is very promising and hope more concerned citizens will learn about and embrace this strategy.