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John Skoug: Wisconsin should call for a federal carbon fee and dividend policy

John Skoug: Wisconsin should call for a federal carbon fee and dividend policy

Dear Editor: The Climate Change Task Force commissioned by Gov. Evers last October has been diligently working on finalizing recommendations by Oct. 31. The public has been included through open virtual committee meetings, by accepting public comment via email, and through five “listening sessions” that occurred this summer. Kudos for running an inclusive process.

One topic that has been discussed by the task force and was a consistent theme in public input is carbon pricing, and more specifically a carbon fee and dividend (CF&D). To honor that input, one of the most powerful recommendations by the task force would be for the state of Wisconsin to call for a federal CF&D policy, the benefits of which are manifold:

• reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40% by 2030.

• revenue neutral and market driven; does not represent new government regulations.

• revenue collected will be equally distributed as a dividend to all Americans which benefits low-income people more than others, and thus integrates environmental justice.

• conversion to renewables will lead to reduced air pollution and improved health of all Americans.

• potential for broad bipartisan support.

As stated by over 3,500 economists in the Wall Street Journal (Jan 17, 2019), a steadily increasing carbon tax is one of the most effective ways to convert to clean energy and a low-carbon future without imposing restrictive government regulations. And if implemented as revenue neutral (the dividend) it would be fair and equitable to all American families.

I thank the task force members for their dedication and hard work. There will be many solid recommendations they bring forward that Wisconsin should implement. I truly hope one of them urges Gov. Evers to call on our federal government to make CF&D a key part of a national climate change policy.

John Skoug


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