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Letter to the editor icon2

Letter to the editor icon2

Carbon dividend bill

Thank you to The Montana Standard for running the front-page article, Save the Snow Summit (3/16/19) about our changing climate and its impacts on snowpack, forests, insects, water rights, and Montana’s economic future. We can add to this list the risks posed to our national security, agriculture, and the recreation industry.

Readers will be glad to know that a group of bipartisan lawmakers in the U.S House of Representatives has introduced H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA). A Senate version will be introduced soon.

The EICDA, which is the first promising piece of legislation supported by members on both sides of the aisle as well as economists of all political persuasions, promotes a rapid and predictable transition to low-carbon forms of energy. Once enacted, our carbon pollution will decrease by 40% in 12 years and 90% by 2050.

The EICDA places a $15 per ton CO2-equivalent fee levied on fossil-fuel producers at the coal mine, oil/gas well and port of entry. The fee rises $10 per ton per year. The net revenues (about 95% of the total after administrative costs) are returned directly as a monthly dividend to US citizens and lawful residents with a social security or taxpayer identification number. This money helps offset the higher costs of fossil fuel during the transition. Meanwhile, the higher fossil-fuel costs will motivate industry and energy companies to invest in low-carbon energy and technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

Vitally important for Montana, the bill exempts fuel used for agriculture and all biological emissions, such as methane from cattle and other livestock. A border fee adjustment levels the playing field for exports of Montana coal and oil to countries that do not impose a similar carbon fee. And, the military is reimbursed for any fuel taxes under this bill.

Please call and write Senators Daines and Tester and Representative Gianforte. Urge them to support H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (and its companion when introduced in the Senate). They work well together to get things done in Congress that benefit us all, such as the recent Land and Water Conservation Fund. We need them now to help us mitigate climate change.

Solving climate change is too urgent to get caught up in partisan politics. Please act today! For more info, see https://energyinnovationact.org/

Alexandra Amonette, Big Timber

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