Go beyond Obama proposal

Thank you for the Herald’s opinion on Tuesday expressing support for President Barack Obama’s proposed rules for controlling coal plant CO2 emissions. The president had to act, given deep divisions within Congress. Controlling CO2 emissions from coal plants successfully leverages the Environmental Protection Agency’s existing authority.

Your editorial highlights the leadership role of our state on green power and climate protection. Washington state needs to and is looking to go beyond coal plants, alone. So too should our nation.

Understandably, the EPA’s action is piecemeal. Rules are complex and rule-making protracted for just one facet of fossil fuel usage. An alternative is to price all carbon higher at the source: the mine, the well or the border.

Make possible a higher initial price signal for consumers — one that reflects the total cost of burning carbon. Then, return all carbon revenues back to citizens annually. This carbon tax or fee is revenue-neutral. British Columbia has successfully had a revenue-neutral carbon tax for several years now. Their tax is used to offset other, existing taxes. Citizens, not government, make all spending decisions.

Bottom line, we actually need to do more than what the president is proposing and do it simply. We need Congress. Our representative, Rick Larsen, needs to see citizen interest in protecting our climate that goes well beyond rules for power plants. Address all sources of carbon. Keep safeguards simple. Do it with less government. Go easy on consumers. This can be bipartisan.

Lee James