The June 9 letter by Judy Weiss of the Citizens Climate Lobby, “Carbon tax helps economy” points to the latest independent economic study showing that a revenue-neutral carbon tax, paid by the fossil fuel industry to us, the consumers, not the government, will boost, not hurt our economy. Such a tax would be painless (except to the fossil fuel corporations) and would prevent the “catastrophic” global warming thousands of the world’s best climate scientists are now warning of.
For decades, special interests predicted that cleaning up air pollution would be harmful to our economy. However, the Office of Management and Budget, the government number-crunchers, reports the Clean Air Act of 1970 and its 1990 amendments consistently show benefits exceeding costs by 30 to 1. That’s $30 to for every dollar invested.
The economic benefits of a revenue-neutral carbon tax would be even greater, considering the risks: Quick and aggressive action to cut carbon dioxide emissions will save us trillions, according to the latest IPCC reports. In contrast, the International Energy Agency estimates just two more years of inaction on climate will cost $4 trillion. U.S. taxpayers have already paid over trillion for climate change disasters (NOAA) and the world’s top scientists project those costs will be rising steeply in the next decades. Let’s make fossil fuels pay.
With a revenue-neutral carbon tax, however, we can phase out the fossil fuels while actually benefiting economically, but if we wait till 2030, climate disasters will cost about 4 percent of GDP, according to the latest IPCC reports. They tell us we must cut carbon dioxide emissions about 80 percent by 2050 to if we are to keep global temperatures from rising above limits that would create conditions leading to complete economic collapse worldwide. The cost-benefit analysis here couldn’t be clearer.
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