The News Tribune deserves credit for putting climate change front and center through recent editorials (TNT, 8-9). Excuses for delaying climate action have evaporated, as scientific, economic, geopolitical and moral arguments for reducing emissions grow ever stronger.
Key to reducing emissions is placing a price on fossil fuel use, forcing us to account for the cost of dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
We don’t need to debate whether to put a price on emissions. What we should debate is the type of carbon price – tax and rebate or cap and trade? Should all revenue be returned to taxpayers and businesses in an equitable fashion, or should some be invested in energy efficiency and alternatives?
The News Tribune gave thoughtful suggestions to Democrats and environmentalists, but did not mention Republicans. State Republican leadership has refused to address mitigating emissions in a serious way. It’s time for thoughtful Republicans to buck their leadership and join work on a serious mitigation plan.
Washington needs to join other states and provinces with a robust, well-designed carbon-pricing policy. We can’t afford more foot-dragging or watered-down proposals. The time to put a price on carbon is now. Let’s get together and get it done.