To the editor:
President-elect Joe Biden’s recently announced lineup of cabinet members should give us hope in fighting climate change. Since two-thirds of voters considered climate change an important issue in last month’s election (Pew Research), his pro-climate choices should be a positive sign to many of us that it’s a priority for his administration.
Even if Biden was not your candidate or if Congress ends up remaining divided, there is room for nonpartisan agreement on legislation that will help our country transition to renewable energy to protect our environment and for increased jobs. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (House Rule 763) is one example of such legislation, one that U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, D-Eagan, co-sponsored. It would account for the hidden costs of burning fossil fuels by placing a fee on coal, oil and gas as it enters the U.S. economy. All of the money collected would be returned to American residents in monthly carbon dividends to help consumers adapt while businesses compete to reduce their carbon footprints.
Some form of carbon fee is already used by more that 40 countries. In fact, of the 15 biggest economies in the world, only three — the United States, India and Russia — do not have any nationwide carbon pricing in place or in the works. The U.S. has not been a leader in fighting climate change with a carbon fee, but the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would allow us to do some catching up.