Health Costs of Fossil Fuels Laser Talk

Hidden Costs of Burning Fossil Fuels

The burning of fossil fuels contributes to four of the five leading causes of death in the United States, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and lung diseases, while putting children at risk of asthma and delayed mental development [1]. All these missed work days, hospital visits, and deaths not only cause suffering, but they handicap our economy, increase insurance premiums, and contribute to an unsustainable growth in health care costs.

Coal plants alone cause more than 13,000 deaths each year in the United States [2]. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the burning of fossil fuels causes $120 billion annually in mostly health-related damages. [3]

The Market Price of Fossil Fuels Does Not Reflect The True Cost

Fossil fuels only seem like the cheapest option because the price we pay does not account for all of the costs of burning fossil fuels.

Your electricity bill does not reflect the cost of your asthmatic daughter’s visit to the emergency room. Your price at the pump does not reflect the financial and emotional cost of your father’s heart attack. However, there is a way to fix this market failure.

A True Cost Comparison Between All Competing Fuels

Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation would make fossil fuels’ market price reflect their true cost to society, thereby leveling the playing field for healthier energy sources and creating a true cost comparison between all competing fuels. This simple, transparent, revenue-neutral step will help prevent your father’s stroke or your child’s asthma attack, while saving money and slowing climate change.

Skeptic Claims and One-Liners

Carbon Fee Skeptic Claim: Health effects of climate change are overblown.
One-Liner: The burning of fossil fuels contributes to four of the five leading causes of death in the United States and costs $120 billion annually in mostly health-related damages.

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