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Letter: US must take lead to end use of fossil fuels
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The Supreme Court has just issued a stay to put the Clean Power Plan on hold until the legality of the plan has been decided. What this ultimately means for the fate of the Clean Power Plan is still undecided.

Many people object to the plan because of all the government regulations and the fear that it will be too expensive for Americans. I certainly appreciate those concerns. What we need is a plan that cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions, improves our economy and avoids excessive governmental regulations.

The Citizens Climate Lobby has such a plan. It is called the carbon fee and dividend plan.
This is basically a very simple plan. It places a progressively increasing price on the production of carbon dioxide at the place of origin, whether it be mining coal, oil production, fracking natural gas, etc. It will put a more reasonable price on greenhouse gases to reflect their true social costs.

Presently, fossil fuels do not reflect the tremendous increase in medical costs or environmental damages caused by their production of pollution and carbon dioxide. All the money is then returned directly to all of us American citizens in a monthly dividend check.

The well respected REMI study concluded that this plan would both markedly decrease greenhouse gas emissions as well as stimulate our economy and put more real spendable income into the average American’s pocket. In other words, it would help our economy, not hurt it.

Ronald Reagan’s former secretary of state George Shultz, who is a strong advocate of the plan, says this plan is not actually a tax, since it returns all the money to you and me, the citizens of the U.S., in a monthly check.

The world is moving away from fossil fuels and into clean energy. At the recent Paris climate meeting, 196 countries agreed to rapidly get off fossil fuels and to convert to clean energy. The train is leaving. The question is, “Will we get on, or be left behind?”

Many other economic studies, including those by Citigroup, show that switching to clean energy will boost our economy, not hurt it. We are America, we are the head of the free world, and we must now take the lead or risk being left behind.

We cannot allow this. Many of our major corporations, the World Bank, the World Monetary Fund, and a growing number of countries around the world agree that putting a fee on carbon is the best way to make this conversion to clean energy.

With coal fired power plants causing 13,000 American deaths each year, I would like to close with a question: “What if we are wrong about climate change and future generations are stuck with a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous world?”

Vernon Dixon