Time for us to move on from fossil fuels

The time to debate whether to encourage fossil fuel use ended decades ago. The science is clear that we must transition to clean energy options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The discussion should be about solutions such as Carbon Fee and Dividend – a revenue neutral, market-based, nonpartisan proposal that will help the U.S. economy and encourage other countries to follow suite. It calls for putting a steadily increasing fee on fossil fuels at the source to fix the broken energy market by gradually adding the external costs of fossil fuel emissions into the consumer price.

This will send a clear market signal to redirect business investments – from gas pipelines to solar farms, for example – and over time change consumer preferences as clean energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels. All the money collected – minus administration costs – will be returned monthly to all American households on an equal basis.

This dividend will preserve household purchasing power, help the poor, and give the economy a boost. By returning the dividend to all American households on an equal basis the program will be efficient, fair and maintain broad support. No one will have reason to feel excluded, cheated or forgotten. Border adjustment tariffs will be used to protect U.S. jobs and companies by normalizing production costs of imports and exports with countries that do not have a similar price on carbon based fuels, strongly encouraging those countries to follow suit. It is time to pick a good solution.

John Gage