Thank you for your recent article “Cap and Trade Gets Makeover,” which outlined the concessions Oregon Democrats have made in a new bill to address the climate crisis. As the impacts of climate change continue to mount before our eyes, it is heartening to see this vital work continue into 2020.
Oregon legislators are promoting a cap and trade system; however, some federal proposals, such as HR 763, have incorporated a somewhat less controversial approach, a carbon fee and dividend approach which is now the law in Canada and Switzerland.
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A carbon fee and dividend, or “climate income,” is a system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global warming. The system imposes a carbon tax on the sale of fossil fuels, and then distributes the revenue of this tax over the entire population (equally, on a per-person basis) as a monthly income or regular payment. It is designed to maintain or improve economic vitality while speeding the transition to a sustainable energy economy.
Whatever approach Oregon agrees to, it is my fervent hope that our state will step up and once again demonstrate its historic leadership on this single most consequential crisis of our time — the overheating of our planet and the accumulation of damage to life and earth’s natural systems.