Tax toxic pollutants
The toxic nature of the various pollutants in Valley air are without equal in quantity and diversity anywhere in the nation. Soot, ozone, ammonium nitrate and hydrocarbons may greet our lungs with every breath. This is in addition to the climate disruption going on throughout the world due to carbon dioxide emissions (The Bee, Dec. 3). The main culprit is burning carbon-based fuels such as wood, oil, natural gas and gasoline.
Put a price on this burning to reflect its true cost, and it will eventually go the way of chipped stone tools and acorn mush. That price does not have to be in the form of a “tax,” it can be collected at the source and returned back equally to everyone, leaving the government out of the loop. Then everyone could shop for cheaper, cleaner forms of energy, drive innovation at almost no cost to society and provide an economic boost into the bargain.
We cannot legislate the chemistry and physics of combustion, or the geography of the valley. What we can do is legislate a rational market system that takes into consideration all of the costs of the way we produce and use energy.