Sunday, February 24, 2013

Climate Protection Act & Sustainable Energy Act

Last Thursday, on the 14th of February, liberal senators Barbara Boxer of California (D) and Bernie Sanders of Vermont (I) told press of a new bill proposal that will tax carbon emissions. This bill includes two new acts: The Climate Protection Act, which would enforce a carbon tax of $20.00 per metric ton released, a rebate program that returns 60% of the revenues to consumers to offset higher energy costs, and the Pollution Reduction Trust Fund, which would see that the other 40% be used to fund new renewable technologies. The Sustainable Energy Act would eliminate certain fossil fuel subsidies. Also, the bill would give the EPA the power to regulate hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This carbon tax targets big energy such as coalmines, oil refineries and gas production. The new bill models Alaska’s “Permanent Fund” which distributes royalties from the states oil industries to all Alaskan residents each year. Last year every resident received $872.00.

There is a very strong opposition to the bill with conservatives who believe that this tax would raise the price of all goods and services and end up devastating the economy, among other things. Many senators and representatives in our government have been sponsored by big business in their campaign financing. This can make it hard to not be unbiased or bipartisan with their decisions regarding new legislation that could hurt big business. 

In my opinion, we as a nation are long past due to jump on the climate change bandwagon. We have been talking about environmental protection and global warming for generations but have completely failed at passing and implementing any sort of legislation to combat this problem. I am fully supportive of this bill despite what may happen to the economy or my energy bill. The carbon tax would force people and industry to reevaluate how much energy they use and hopefully change our greedy, consumer driven lifestyles.

--Amanda Wayman

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