Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agreeing on climate action
I applaud Cody Porter’s column this past weekend, “Young GOP voters back action on climate” and encourage all party leaders to listen to their young people! This is their future.
Climate change is the existential threat of our time and one party or one nation alone cannot solve this problem. We need everyone on board. I agree completely with Porter’s claim that an essential tool in our climate action kit should be a conservative, market-based revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend policy. He mentioned the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan, which has not yet been introduced. But good news, there is a bill already introduced in the House that incorporates the tenets of the Baker-Shultz Plan: The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act (H.R. 2307).
Rep. Chellie Pingree has cosponsored it and I urge Rep. Jared Golden to sign on as well. I also ask that Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King sign on to a Senate companion bill to put a price on carbon. Yes, fuel costs will rise but the revenue collected will be returned in equal measures to all Americans. Most low- and middle-income folks will get more back in dividends than they will pay out in increased fuel costs.
Most importantly, The Energy Innovation Act will help to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, a critical target if we are to leave a livable planet for future generations. Now that’s something we can all agree on!
Fund infrastructure not drug war
The BDN editorial board’s opinion to increase a gas tax is reasonable but taxing to society. Enough stress already. A better non-taxing fundraiser would be to end the 50-year drug war. The anniversary was this week.
End the war and give the abundant savings to infrastructure. This is less taxing on society, for sure. Accentuate the positive, mitigate the negative.
Looking for a GOP explanation
Would someone with influence (like this newspaper) please convince Sen. Susan Collins to explain to us, her constituents, what is going on with the Republican Party?
Their leader in the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell, has told us more than once (which suggests he means it) that 100 percent of his focus is on stopping President Joe Biden from enacting his programs. Later, under pressure, McConnell backtracked a bit, but only a tiny bit. And McConnell’s Republican colleagues in the Senate and House, who had echoed his initial statements, have backtracked not one bit.
To me, that means not even one percent of the GOP’s focus is on COVID; immigration; education; equitable taxation; aging bridges, airports, and seaports; growing federal debt and deficits; climate change; responsible police reform; healthcare; reforming and protecting voting rights; trade with China; the precarious peace in the South China Sea; Russian cyberwarfare; North Korean unpredictability; not to mention unraveling what we all saw live on television take place at the Ellipse and the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Clearly, a senator’s responsibility is to represent us in Washington. But surely it is also to represent Washington to us; in effect, to teach us about what she can see and hear and experience from our seat on the Senate floor. The Republican Party seems to be in the midst of a sea change. We need help in understanding it ourselves, and in explaining it to our grandchildren.
Who better than our senator, Susan Collins?