Letter: Progressive tax needed on fossil fuels

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 01:56 PM

To the Editor:

Hurricanes, floods, heat waves, tornadoes, drought — extreme weather events that caused loss of life and destruction throughout the U.S. in 2012 — will increase in frequency and severity if we fail to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are heating the earth.

We need a national policy to help our nation move away from a dependency on fossil fuels. One bill, which is no longer active, included such a policy. It was the Save Our Climate Act. It was introduced in the House of Representatives in 2011.

The bill would have required the collection of a fee on all carbon-based fuels at the point of entry, be it a mine, well or port. Most of the revenue would have been returned to consumers as per-capita annual payments, in order to protect households from increased energy costs. A portion of the revenue would have been applied to deficit reduction.

New legislation could require that 100 percent of revenue be refunded to American families. Such a plan would eventually make clean energy more profitable than fossil fuels, encouraging investment in renewable energy such as wind and solar.

The Congressional Budget Office has stated that a carbon fee is the most economically efficient option for reducing carbon emissions. The CBO has estimated that SOCA would raise and return at least $2.6 trillion in revenue and reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. by 25 percent in the first 10 years. Everyone who is concerned about the devastating effects of climate change should ask their representative in Congress to support a progressive tax on fossil fuels. We need bipartisan action to move our country toward a sustainable economy based on renewable sources of energy.

Georgia Ferrell