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Letter: GOP leaders join effort on climate change
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Several well-respected senior leaders in the Republican party have taken a giant step forward in an effort to both strengthen our economy and to help the Republican party take leadership in combating climate change.

James Baker, Henry Paulson and George Shultz, who have variously served as secretaries of State and the Treasury under the Reagan and Bush administrations, along with Rob Walton, former chairman of the board of Wal-Mart from 1992-2015, have teamed with four other prominent Republicans in putting forth a plan that they call the conservative answer to climate change. They just recently presented the plan to senior staffers at the White House.

According to their presentation, they believe mounting evidence of climate change is growing too strong to ignore. But they are also convinced that any climate solution must be based on sound economic analysis and should embody the principles of free markets and limited government.

Their plan is based on four simple principles. First, the government would place a gradually increasing tax on the production of carbon dioxide to help account for the external damage caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Secondly, all money collected from this tax would be refunded to every American with a valid Social Security number. A family of four could expect a dividend payment of approximately $2000 the first year of the plan, with a gradual annual increase to be determined by the amount collected by the third principle, a border adjustment on the carbon content of both imports and exports, in order to protect American manufacturers from being hurt by the plan.

Fourth, there would be a significant rollback on current regulations, including the EPA’s regulation of carbon dioxide emissions and a repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

According to their analysis, this plan would not only grow our economy and help put more spendable income into most Americans pocketbook, but would also be a free market solution to climate change. I for one applaud their efforts.

The Republican party under Nixon and Reagan were leaders in the Conservation movement. This plan would put the Republican party back in the lead in caring for our environment. I believe that this plan can help bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats over climate change. If so, it would certainly be a win for America, a win for our economy, and, most especially, a win for future generations.

Mary Joyce Dixon
Hiawassee

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