Letter to the Editor: Rep. Gallagher Carbon Fee and Dividend Support?

This is a case made for Congressman Mike Gallagher to support the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Fee and Dividend Act that is currently gathering sponsorship in Congress.

A carbon fee and dividend concept has been around for quite some time and has been covered by the Pulse.

A carbon tax (fee) and dividend proposal was recently herald by a group of 45 prominent economists with a letter submitted to the Wall Street Journal.  

A carbon tax is justified since fossil fuels are getting a free lunch.  According to Dana Nuccitelli, a climate scientist, based on a 2017 study by the journal World Development Americans effectively subsidize fossil fuels over $2,000 per year per American.

In order to add insult to injury the US is providing $26 billion per year tax benefits to the fossil fuel industry according to the NRDC.                                         

The fourth National Climate Assessment (2018) warns in a worst-case scenario, global warming costs could total 10 percent of the US GDP by the end of the century.

Nationally, opinions about climate change are evolving. A recent survey by ecoAmerica showed a nine-point increase in concern by Republicans (54 percent).  

Former Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo of Florida warned as he left his Washington office that Republicans must deal with climate change.

In Wisconsin the tenor on the issue of climate change and the economy has taken a large turn. Solar, wind and energy efficiency are being chosen over coal by utilities.   

A recent UW think tank COWS study shows a clean homegrown energy economy would provide 162,000 extra jobs, while avoiding $21 billion a year in health care costs fossil fuels cause, increase the Wisconsin GDP by almost five percent and add $570 million in state tax revenue each year.    

With the above information it is hoped Representative Gallagher can make a decision on the Energy Innovation and Carbon Fee and Dividend Act and support a clean energy economy.

John Hermanson

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.