Industry Should Pay for Pollution

Build Back Better legislation needs a carbon fee, cash-back dividend, and border carbon tariff.

Our world has a climate emergency because we have relied on fossil fuels to power our economies. Carbon pollution from burning coal, oil, and gas is now over-heating our planet, melting polar ice, flooding coastal communities, and causing more frequent and intense heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and extreme weather. Thanks to the rapidly declining costs of solar and wind power, we could wait years for businesses and households to choose cheaper cleaner power. But scientists say we only have about 10 years before climate impacts spiral out of control.

The fossil fuel industry has benefited from a huge public subsidy, being allowed to dump their pollution for free, leaving the costs of the disease, death, and now planetary disruption on the public. The fastest way to transition to clean energy would be to make the polluting industry pay for their pollution, which would price these dirty fuels out of the market. To accomplish this, the president’s Build Back Better plan should include a carbon fee, a cash-back dividend, and a carbon tariff. With these policies, Biden’s goal of reducing emissions 50 percent by 2030 can be achieved while costing taxpayers nothing. The coal, oil and gas companies pay.

The revenue, distributed to American taxpayers, helps families through the transition, and the border tariff incentivizes all nations, including China, to adopt similar policies.

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