It is heartening to see the Hub drawing our attention to the conversation on climate change by noting the recent introduction of carbon tax-based legislation in the House of Representatives.
The carbon tax concept has been around for nearly 50 years — it makes economic sense. As recently as January 2019, a group of noted economists published a statement in The Wall Street Journal calling for a carbon tax, describing it as “the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary.”
As I have previously noted in a June 20 letter to the editor, it is unfortunate that the Hub’s perspective on the means that are necessary for us to move forward in the climate debate are dependent on solutions proposed and supported by a specific political party. Climate change is non-partisan.
But, if that is how we must play out the process, I encourage readers to become aware of the House of Representatives’ Climate Solutions Caucus. It is a bi-partisan group of representatives — co-chaired by Reps. Ted Deutch, R-Fla., and Francis Rooney, D-Fla. — that meets regularly to discuss, develop and introduce legislation that advances climate solutions. Its current membership is 22 Republicans and 41 Democrats. In fact, three members of the Climate Solutions Caucus — one Republican and two Democrats — introduced the two carbon tax bills noted by the Hub.
The non-partisan path is the hardest one to follow. It requires legislators to step out from behind their dogmatic political shields and play nicely with others. It requires them to see beyond the next election and it may necessitate that they do what is right rather than what is just expedient.
On that note, I would challenge the Hub to ask Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse and Rep. Adrian Smith to provide for us their clear and unequivocal positions on climate change and their proposals on how to resolve it. Perhaps, though unlikely, they could join the Climate Solutions Caucus.
Stan Dart, Kearney