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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: Carbon fee can benefit all

By Francine Chinitz , Portland
Published: January 29, 2023, 6:00am

I was struck with delight to read your opinion piece, “In Our View: Ozone layer offers lessons for climate action” (The Columbian, Jan. 11). The topic and bipartisan effort could not be more timely.

I completely agree with the statement, “climate change should not be a conservative or liberal issue.” It’s good to remember that prominent Republicans such as Nixon, Reagan and Bush recognized the importance of protecting the environment. We continue to benefit from their foresight.

As recent storms in California demonstrate, extreme weather is costly in terms of lives and infrastructure. Scientists have warned us for decades that climate change would make weather events more frequent and extreme. Hence, we know that these weather events are going to get even worse.

Fortunately, there are fiscally responsible solutions to climate change that would be effective, such as a carbon fee and dividends. In fact, 75 percent of Republicans under 40 support putting a price on carbon pollution and giving regular dividends to households (“National survey results on the Climate Leadership Council’s carbon dividends plan,” Luntz Global, May 20, 2019).

I call on Sens. Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to pass a national carbon fee, returning benefits to all.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter