I just returned from a vacation in environmentally friendly British Columbia, Canada. British Columbia not only has scenic beauty, but it also has a forward-looking policy in its revenue-neutral carbon tax, which is similar to the national policy being promoted in the U.S. by Citizens Climate Lobby.
As the Great March for Climate Action winds its way across Nebraska, it is a fitting time to discuss carbon tax-and-dividend legislation that would put a fee on the amount of carbon dioxide in fossil fuels at the source of the fuel: at the mine, well, or port of entry. The dividend is the revenue that is rebated to American households -- returning 100 percent of the total carbon tax to all households equally. None of the tax is used for government spending.
A carbon tax is not a left-wing, tree hugger agenda. It is supported by George Shultz, who was secretary of state in the Reagan administration and secretary of labor in the Nixon administration. It is supported by Hank Paulson, George W. Bush’s treasury secretary, and most recently it has been supported as the best solution in Holman Jenkins’ column in The Wall Street Journal. Jenkins, whose column headline referred to some of our country’s top environmentalists as the “Climate Mafia,” said: “A straight-up, revenue-neutral carbon tax clearly is our first best policy, rewarding an infinite and unpredictable variety of innovations by which humans would satisfy their energy needs while releasing less carbon into the atmosphere.” Let’s make this revenue neutral tax a reality for the whole country.
David E. Corbin, Omaha