Lancaster Intelligencer Journal oped

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By Jerry Lee Miller and Susan Finn Miller 

Who should you ask about the best way to address climate change?

How about the world’s biggest oil company — Exxon Mobil Corp.?

“Rising greenhouse gas emissions pose significant risks to society and ecosystems. However, we believe a well-designed, revenue-neutral carbon tax mechanism provides a more cost-effective alternative to a cap-and-trade regime for reducing GHG emissions.” (From Exxon Mobil web site)

Alan Jeffers, Exxon Mobil’s media relations manager, explains:

“We take the issue of climate change seriously and believe the risks warrant action. Exxon Mobil is taking action … and participating in constructive dialogue on policy options with NGOs, industry and policy makers, such as our recent statements regarding the benefits of a revenue-neutral carbon tax.”

Who else should you ask? How about Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State George Shultz and conservative Nobel laureate in economics Gary Becker? In their recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Shultz and Becker wrote: “Clearly, a revenue-neutral carbon tax would benefit all Americans by eliminating the need for costly energy subsidies while promoting a level playing field for energy producers.”

What is this revenue-neutral carbon tax? Quite simply, it’s a nonregulatory solution that lets the market work!

A fee on carbon would be assessed at the point of entry into the economy; at the oil or gas well, at the coal mine or at the border in the case of imported energy. This fee would begin low and slowly rise over a period of years.

The revenue-neutral carbon tax is totally different than the traditional concept of a tax because the government does not keep any of the money. So it does not grow government. It neither props up existing programs nor creates new ones.

Instead, it distributes 100 percent of the money to households. Your family and our family would receive a regular check to help with the increased cost of energy. Done correctly, the majority of households will either break even or make a profit, according to The Carbon Tax Center.

“Venture capitalists, banks, and entrepreneurs seeing a predictable price signal will create breakthroughs in (alternative energy) innovation that in some cases are unimaginable at this point,” says Joseph Robertson, author of “Building The Green Economy.”

This market-driven solution will free us to move away from the fossil-fuel economy and dramatically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that have been causing an acceleration of climate disruptions in the U.S. and around the world. In fact, we should see the climate slowly begin to stabilize as we transition to clean energy.

How good it is to know we can still take effective action to preserve a livable planet for our children and grandchildren!

Here in Lancaster County and across the United States and Canada, citizens are mobilizing to promote this market-driven solution to climate disruptions by forming chapters of Citizens Climate Lobby.

The nonpartisan Citizens Climate Lobby empowers volunteers like us to meet with legislators, write letters to the editor and in many other ways build political will on “both sides of the aisle.”

We are grateful to Congressman Joe Pitts and to our senators, Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, for scheduling Citizens Climate Lobby volunteers for appointments in their D.C. offices with their staffs in June. We know they are problem solvers, and hope they will each become champions of the revenue-neutral carbon tax.

Who should you ask about the best way to address climate change? Perhaps soon the answer will be your own congressman and senators!

Susan Finn Miller is an educator. Jerry Lee Miller is a retired Church of the Brethren minister. They are volunteers with the Lancaster chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby

WEB LINK:–Climate-is-right-for-market-solution.html#ixzz2cQsCRTn5

Steve Valk
Steve Valk is Communications Coordinator for Citizens' Climate Lobby. Steve joined the CCL staff in 2009 after a 30-year career with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.