Our planet is breaking. Human burning of fossil fuels has caused global temperatures to spike at unprecedented rates. This is leading to more and more extreme climate events, like the wildfires in Australia, many more hurricanes, and widespread droughts.
This is terrible for many reasons, like the increased human and animal loss of life and innumerable species going extinct. But there are also more concrete reasons, like the money spent on disaster relief, scarce resources, and quality of life on an increasingly inhospitable planet. In order to remove these moral and monetary costs, we need to sharply cut carbon emissions.
One of the most effective ways to do so is carbon taxes, where producers pay a fee for the carbon they emit. This changes the social cost of carbon emission into a financial cost, which is very effective. It adds in the hidden costs of carbon emission to production expenses, incentivizing companies to find more efficient methods of production.
A cap-and-trade system, which uses permits that companies can trade among themselves, is also very effective. Carbon taxes make big polluters cut their emissions the most, which can be more efficient than regulations that frequently contain loopholes. The market can adjust far more than through a regulatory approach.
I strongly support carbon taxes as a method to decrease carbon emissions. Everyone should research this effective solution, as well as supporting any measures or bills to implement a carbon tax.
Unfortunately, there are currently no bills for a carbon tax in the 2020 legislative session. However, there are two bills aimed to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, ZEV Standard (HB 5811) and Clean Fuels Standard (HB 1110).
Both bills are well-thought-out and will curb emissions through both market-based and standard approaches. Support them as they go through the legislative process and let everyone know about them.
Most importantly, if they end up on the ballot, vote! Your voice matters and can change the future. Support the adoption of carbon taxes to curb carbon emissions and protect our planet. It’s the only one we’ve got.