Letters: Carbon pricing needed

Johnson City Press • Oct 20, 2019 at 6:00 AM

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Carbon pricing needed

A recent advertisement in this paper indicated over a half-thousand parishioners from local churches having signed petitions to seek congressional action, in the form of revenue-neutral carbon pricing, to address climate change.

A bipartisan bill to that effect in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act with more than five dozen co-sponsors, lacks support from our representative, Phil Roe. When asked for it by constituents, he typically phrases his opposition in terms of apprehension that expected higher energy costs will hurt low-income people in the region.

Does Congressman Roe not know that, overwhelmingly, the nation’s economists counter this expectation? As guardians of our economic well-being, the view of the members of this scientific discipline should be given serious consideration by the policymakers.

More than 3,600 economists, at universities and colleges, business schools and other related institutions across the country signed a Statement on Carbon Dividends, published by the Wall Street Journal in January this year. Noting that global climate change is a serious problem calling for “immediate national action,” it finds that “the majority of American families … will benefit financially.” Especially “the most vulnerable,” low-income families will receive more in dividend payments than the expected increase in energy prices.

These economists, who may be credited with having spurred America’s technological prowess and economic strength, include 16 former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers and secretaries of the Treasury under Republican and Democratic administrations, 27 Nobel laureates and four former Federal Reserve chairs.

They urge federal policy on carbon pricing like almost exactly what the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act proposes. Under that bill (HR 763), the carbon dividend would come to households every month.

Congressman Roe should read the economists’ statement, have his misgivings allayed, and support this bill.


Use bias well

The accusation of bias is often a simplistic attempt to discredit a person or a position, but let's be clear; bias is not always bad. Responsible bias exists when it is based on facts and credible sources, and levels of bias also exist.

Therefore, fellow citizens, these times lead us to renew our high calling to commit to the Constitution and to our motto,"In God We Trust," as our greatest sources for forming our noblest biases and actions as citizens. Read our Constitution and learn what it says about our three government branches' responsibilities to keep check on each other's balance of power. Read what our founding fathers said about protecting our fragile democratic republic by not letting any foreign governments influence our elections. Know what the law says about the protection of vital whistleblowers while Congress investigates their claims. Be courageous enough to let constitutionally, Godly shaped biases rise above, outshine and overshadow all other political and personal biases.

In so doing, I now find my political ideologies are subservient to my impeachment position. I focus on the facts and the Constitution, and I am frightened by the multiple unconstitutional actions by the White House. I see no option but to support the impeachment inquiries and to list more impeachment articles than the obvious Ukraine call.

I also support the impeachment and conviction of Donald J. Trump of "high crimes and misdemeanors." This stand brings me no joy, and I dread the coming days for all of us, but I am grateful for the impeachment/removal process our founding fathers designed for Congress and for us the people to protect us when we need it.

I call for us all to be open, informed, noble American citizens during the coming days, including when we rightfully disagree.

Johnson City

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