Letter to the Editor: Clean Energy Is Where Jobs Are
“Bipartisan Commitment Needed for Clean Environment” (March 24) gets it right. The EPA is vital to keeping our air, land and water clean, but there’s a faster and better way to make emissions cuts that can prevent “catastrophic” global warming (IPCC) and it can serve as a model to other countries showing how they can do the same.
It’s a conservative economic plan that can have bipartisan support in Congress because it will cost consumers and taxpayers nothing, even putting extra cash in their pockets every months, and it will create millions of jobs.
It’s a carbon tax that’s paid to the taxpayers rather than by them. It’s called “carbon fee-and-dividend.” All fossil fuel corporations pay the carbon pollution tax and it goes 100 percent, by law, in equal quarterly carbon “dividend” checks to every taxpayer. The tax goes up steadily and so do people’s “dividends.” Those who use that money to buy clean energy, as it becomes increasingly cheaper than dirty energy, come out ahead financially (citizensclimatelobby.org).
That’s projected to increase GDP $75-80 billion annually (REMI) and create over five million good-paying, permanent (40-year) jobs (Stanford University’s solutionsproject.org). Clean energy already employs more Americans than the entire U.S. fossil fuel industry (Fortune) and is growing at 35 percent annually (Bloomberg). Fossil fuels continue to cut jobs through automation (Forbes, The Economist, Fortune, Bloomberg).
This isn’t just economic theory either: “carbon tax-and-dividend” has been working as promised in British Columbia for the past eight years. They now have lower taxes and lower energy bills, more jobs and the best economy of any Canadian province (The Economist). It has a whopping 83 percent approval rating there (World Bank).
President Trump has been a supporter of fossil fuels rather than clean energy, but he’s promised millions of jobs and he’s not going to find them in manufacturing or fossil fuels, which have both been losing jobs to automation, rather than trade deals (Forbes, Fortune, The Economist, Bloomberg). But clean energy has been growing at 35 percent annually for the past five years and already employs more Americans than the entire U.S. fossil fuel industry (Fortune).
Clean energy is where the jobs are.
If Trump and the GOP want to keep their promise to make the American economy great again, supporting “carbon fee-and-dividend” is the way they can do that.
Clean energy will also prevent over 45,000 American deaths annually from carbon pollution and save Americans $600 billion annually in medical bills for carbon-caused illnesses (solutionsproject.org).
Climate change has already cost American taxpayers over $1 trillion so far. According to the world’s most highly cited, peer-reviewed science journal, Nature, climate disasters will cost over $369 trillion if we don’t soon stop burning fossil fuels. We can transition to clean energy, globally, within the next decade using carbon pricing (Newsweek), which is about the amount of time the scientific community is saying we still have to avert climate change disaster.