- - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Thank you for reporting on the carbon dividends plan released by Republican elder statesmen and the Climate Leadership Council. According to the article, “Republican leaders on Capitol Hill and their anti-tax allies are moving quickly to crush conservative proposals for a carbon tax before they even have time to breathe” (“Republicans move to block conservative proposals for carbon tax,” Web, Feb. 19). Yet readers had to wait until near the end of the piece to learn what was behind such a hysterical rush to judgment — and it wasn’t complimentary to opponents. The reason is “fear that even raising the notion of a tax could be a serious political liability.”

If congressional Republicans want to know what fear is they should talk to the victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Irene or Sandy. They should talk to residents of Livingston Parish, Louisiana, who experienced 31 inches of rain in just 15 hours one day last summer. And they should talk to victims of current flooding in California, where there have been at least five flood-caused deaths.

The infamous “anti-tax allies” mentioned in the article have “significant concerns [a carbon tax] would place undue economic burdens on American families and businesses by intentionally increasing the cost of the energy they rely on every day.” Rather than listen to this chorus of “nattering nabobs of negativism,” congressional Republicans should face the cold, hard evidence that greenhouse-gas pollution released freely into the atmosphere is the sole reason for the growing intensity of these storms.

Unlike the revenue-neutral carbon tax proposed by the CLC, climate change actually does “place undue economic burdens on Americans” in financial, health and mortality terms.

Lee Iacocca had a saying: “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” If congressional Republicans do not have the courage to stand up to President Trump, anti-tax allies and industries that profit at the common man’s expense, they should get out of the way and give more courageous individuals a shot at solving our nation’s (and humankind’s) challenges.



GARY RUCINSKI

Massachusetts state coordinator

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Newton, Mass.

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