Letters: Clean air and a strong economy go hand in hand
Re: Our April 22 editorial “State should prep for costly Power Plan”: We are already paying the price for the unhealthy air and very real effects of climate change that the Clean Power Plan would help address. The American Lung Association recently released its 2016 State of the Air report, an annual national air quality “report card.” The majority of Michigan counties have unhealthy air and the Detroit metro area got an F for ozone pollution.
The Clean Power Plan would help clean up the air we breathe and provide critical health benefits to Michigan families, and especially those most at risk. Evidence shows that the Clean Power Plan would prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks in 2030, as well as prevent 300,000 missed days of work and school. Clean air and a strong economy with healthy workers go hand in hand.
Ken Fletcher, American Lung Association
Thank you for describing a carbon tax as a “better” solution for meeting the Clean Power Plan rules.
Another form of carbon pricing is a federal carbon fee and dividend. A steadily rising fee on emissions of fossil fuels would be assessed at the mine, well, or port of entry with all the revenues returned to American households on a per capita basis. A study done by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) shows carbon fee and dividend would lower CO2 emissions significantly faster than under the CPP.
REMI also found that after 10 years, 2.1 million new jobs would be created, real incomes would rise by over $500 per person, and 13,000 lives would be saved annually as a result of cleaner air. In advance of the Paris climate talks, a coalition facilitated by the World Economic Forum released an open letter to world leaders. The letter, signed by 78 CEOs, calls for world leaders to implement carbon pricing which will “trigger low-carbon investment and transform current emission patterns at a significant scale.”
Carbon pricing won’t solve climate change, but it’s a crucial first step. We have a moral responsibility to act now.
Elizabeth Dell, Citizens’ Climate Lobby