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LETTER: Recent heat wave shows need for carbon pricing

The recent headlines make the problem clear: Soaring temperatures, Lake Mead at record lows and all the related disruptions such as banning decorative lawns and pets dying in cars.

William Nordhaus, a Nobel Prize-winner in economics, just released a new book. He says we need “a twin set of policies. One is carbon pricing and one is strong support for low-carbon technologies. Both are necessary if we’re going to reach our goals” of reducing greenhouse gasses that trap heat and drive drought.

America’s free market is awesomely innovative and nimble. It will find and develop the best solutions, be it wind, solar, nuclear, hydrogen, batteries or whatever. Our innovation really ignites when big profits are possible … which is why carbon pricing is needed. It makes fossil fuels more expensive and clean ones more attractive. And prices drop with volume and further innovation.

In Congress, there are several carbon-fee-and-dividend bills that would add a gradually rising fee on fossil fuels and rebate 100 percent of the proceeds to American households. It’s the most effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest overall cost. It’s fair to all. It doesn’t increase the deficit, expand the size of government or intrude on our choices with regulations, prohibitions or mandates. Everyone, regardless of party, should write or call their congressional representatives and demand that this policy be implemented.

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