On June 4, a group of 25 Utah Republicans, mostly state legislators, published an op/ed in a Salt Lake City newspaper asking Congress to enact a fee on carbon pollution and to return the money collected directly to American families. This happened in Utah, the most reliably “red” state in the nation. It is the latest example of how Republicans increasingly are getting involved in finding solutions to climate change. For several years, the conservative Climate Leadership Council has made the same “carbon fee and dividend” argument. This approach depends on price signals from the marketplace—not on government regulation—to spur innovation in the transition to the clean energy economy. It protects consumers in the process. The legislation does not grow the size of government. It ends the massive subsidy given to fossil fuel companies by requiring them to pay for pollution rather than passing its costs onto society. No more “socialized soot.” I urge Congressman Fred Keller to join other Republicans in supporting measures like this. One such is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 2307) now before Congress.
Richard W. Jones, State College, PA
This article originally appeared in the Lockhaven Express.