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The excellent article in the BDN about the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA) report on the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through massive investment in non-carbon-emitting energy infrastructure painted a vivid picture of the challenge in the context of the world-wide energy industry, in which all major players are in fact increasing their fossil fuel production and presuming continued demand.
We do indeed need to build out green energy infrastructure, but it’s even more crucial to reduce our burning of fossil fuels! Just because we have more of the green, it doesn’t mean we’ll use less of the brown.
One notes that few participants in the fossil fuel economy are volunteering to reduce their fossil fuel involvements. If we’re relying on the goodness of hearts, we’re toast. Strong economic incentives are needed to move the entire economy rapidly away from fossil fuels. Carbon pricing is a sensible, non-regulatory, revenue-neutral way to incentivize energy conservation and a shift to green energy.
By levying pollution fees on carbon-based fuels as they enter the economy (at the port, the mine, the well) and placing those fees in a trust fund for regular disbursement to all U.S. households, we can reduce carbon emissions rapidly as the market responds to competitive pricing pressures, lowering demand for fossil energy.
Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, both members of the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, should get behind carbon pricing with dividends for households. It’s a critical step toward saving our children’s future. Tell them.