Our Eighth Idea
Each of the last eight weeks, we have proposed a sensible policy idea. Eight ideas in the 8th! These ideas included gun safety, humane treatment of animals, government assistance for education and to lift people out of poverty, Supreme Court term limits, and green cards for Ph.D.s in the math, science, and technology fields. Your feedback has been thoughtful and inspirational. (Read more here.)
With election day just around the corner, it is time for our 8th idea! And, to bring things full circle in this tenth month of the campaign, I want to reprise my very first idea — and one of the prime reasons I entered this race: We must address the crisis of climate change, the most pressing matter we face today. We must pass a national carbon tax.
Nine of the ten warmest years on record have been in the 21st century. If we don’t act soon, the planet will warm eight degrees Fahrenheit within a century, with a sea level rise of three to six feet. There is a threat of mass extinctions, of extreme weather and weather events, and of greater political instability in the regions first and most severely affected.
Despite this, there is no direct cost for carbon release. A carbon tax would change that, setting an initial price per metric ton of carbon dioxide. This policy must not increase poverty or put an undue burden on those households least able to afford it. So some of the revenue – perhaps even all of the revenue, as proposed by Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen – would be refunded through a refundable tax credit or electronic benefit transfer system.
I promise you that one of my first acts as a Congressman – should you elect me on Tuesday – will be to sponsor or cosponsor legislation to enact a national carbon tax.
Please vote on November 4th.