Let Consumers Decide
July 19, 2015
I am writing in response to the op-ed written by Ashley Swearengin and Lucy Dunn (“Be careful on sweeping climate change bill” July 10).
I appreciate that they are concerned about the potential economic impacts of the governor’s plan to address climate change, but unchecked global warming will do significant harm to the global economy (especially in agricultural areas like the San Joaquin Valley). If we are asked to not address climate change in order to avoid economic woes, we are behaving like someone plundering their retirement account to solve easy, short-term money problems.
The Citizen’s Climate Lobby has proposed a solution that would address many of Mayor Swearengin’s and Ms. Dunn’s concerns: carbon fee and dividend. Under this plan, a fee is collected on fossil-fuel extraction, and then returned to the public as part of a monthly dividend.
This plan would put pressure on producers to be more efficient in their use of energy and materials and to shift towards non-polluting energy sources, while keeping money in the pockets of consumers, stimulating the economy. This would spur innovation by putting decisions in the hands of consumers on the open market.