Letter: Take a look at fee-and-dividend




I’m looking at the “States at Risk” report card (reportcard.statesatrisk.org), where scientists quantify Washington state’s exposure to climate disruption over the next 30 years.

By 2050, heat wave days are projected go from around 15 to 40 days a year. Wildfire risk days are projected to go from 10 to 25. Drought severity is projected to quadruple. Inland flooding may increase by 15 percent. The coastal floodplain is projected to grow from 200 to 300 square miles. All of us in Rep. Herrera Beutler’s district will get a taste.

No one knows the future, but two things are clear: 1) we have to switch from carbon fuels anyway, due to limited supply; 2) it’s better to switch sooner rather than later.

One promising strategy to reduce CO2 emissions is called “fee-and-dividend” (citizensclimatelobby.org). The feds impose an increasing fee on carbon fuel producers, who pass it on to the rest of us. The revenues from the fees return directly to each citizen in the form of a monthly dividend check.

Oil companies and a growing number of Republicans like the cost predictability and less regulation. Economists like the relatively pain-free market efficiency. Climatologists like it as a decent shot at saving the world. Anyone interested?