Fee and dividend

Views: How to solve the climate problem
[Via All Today’s News – Sightline Daily]

We have finally arrived at the main story: what we need to do to solve the climate problem, and how we can save a future for our grandchildren. Here’s an answer from climate scientist James Hansen.


While many people may not want to listen to Hansen, he does provide some cogent points. One point is that we will have to make adjustments in our use of fossil fuels. Even without their effects on global temperatures, there is only a limited supply. We have to make the effort to move our system to something else, no matter what.

So, how to do that? Many people have heard of cap and trade, something Hansen does not believe will work in practice. But he describes something that has recently been proposed – fee and dividend. It is an interesting approach and one that one of my Senators, Maria Cantwell, has placed in the Senate. Called the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act.

It will use an auction process by fossil fuel providers to determine the fee. They can then pass the price on to their customers. But, 75% of the fees accumulated are directly returned to the people, in order to help them adjust to the higher prices they see. Thus, if someone uses less energy than expected, they will see positive cash out of the deal.

It is kind of like what Alaska does with oil. It charges the companies a fee to get the oil and those fees are returned to the members of the state.

Tjis does seem like a much simpler way to deal with things, having very little overhead. The other 25% goes to helping transition to greener energy. I’m waiting to hear more about this.

And it is a bipartisan bill with both Cantwell from Washington and Collins from Maine, sponsoring the bill. Not only do they span the political spectrum but their states also span the continental US. Maybe there is hope.

[Listening to: You’re No Good from the album “Van Halen II” by Van Halen]