Vail Daily letter: Bipartisan support for ‘carbon dividends’ | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Bipartisan support for ‘carbon dividends’

Bipartisan support for ‘carbon dividends’

Like the writer of the letter “Citizens Climate Lobby supports ‘carbon dividends’” (Thursday, June 1), I, too, am a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby, a nationwide, volunteer organization working to get rid of fossil fuels and create a booming clean-energy economy. I’d like to make it clear that although the Citizens Climate Lobby does have a lot of Democrats, it also has Republican/conservative members (a bit like the Green Tea Party in reverse). We’d welcome more.

The Citizens Climate Lobby has a Conservative Caucus and conservative “ambassadors” among its ranks who help spread the word among Republicans that there’s a solution to climate change that’s revenue-neutral and that uses market forces rather than government regulations, expansion or expenditures.

Another group, the conservative Climate Leadership Council, has the same goal as the Citizens Climate Lobby: a nationwide, escalating carbon pollution fee that’s rebated, 100 percent, in equal monthly “carbon dividend” checks to every taxpayer.

Both the Citizens Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend plan and the Climate Leadership Council’s carbon dividends plan would create millions of American jobs and a global clean-energy economy within the next decade (Newsweek) — assuming the bill is passed soon — and an $75 billion to $80 billion dollar annual increase in U.S. GDP (REMI). Both plans would have the same global impact by making other nations cut their emissions as least as much as we do or be punished economically.

If you Google citizensclimatelobby.org, check out their plan and then compare it with the Climate Leadership Council’s video “A Climate Solution Where All Sides Win” and their online white paper “CLC’s Unlocking the Climate Puzzle,” you won’t find any daylight between the two plans.

Bipartisan support in Congress for a carbon tax bill would be a game-changer, creating one of America’s greatest economic opportunities.

As the Climate Leadership Council says, revenue-neutral “carbon dividends” will be “an opportunity for a grand bargain whereby the climate is protected, a majority of citizens are better off and the business environment is enhanced.”

We know it will work because it’s worked in British Columbia for eight years (The Economist). Virtually every major economist in the world supports carbon pricing — more than 2,500 of them, nine with Nobel Prizes (Wikipedia, Carbon Tax).

Imagine Republicans and Democrats actually working together to do something monumental for the good of the country — like they did in World War II — and for future generations, for the whole world. It’s not naive to think a proven policy, which is based on the principle of self-interest rather than self-sacrifice and which promises the rewards of a multitrillion-dollar clean-energy boom (Forbes), can succeed politically.

Everyone will benefit from carbon fee and dividend/carbon dividends, with the exception of the fossil-fuel corporations, which lied to us about the existential danger of global warming caused by their products, about which their own scientists warned them. We don’t owe them any sympathy or compensation. They owe us plenty. Let’s make them pay up.

Pete Kuntz

Northglenn