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Carbon pricing positive way to reduce greenhouse gases

Back in the early days of the environment movement, we could hold a local chapter meeting of most organizations in a phone booth. Environmentalists were widely ridiculed as “tree huggers” and environmental initiatives were routinely ignored and allowed to quietly go away without any significant action.

That was then. This is now, and things have changed. Both the environmental community and the environmental condition have grown in size, scope and influence. Perhaps the best example is the environmental energy that is coalescing around the positive strategy known as “carbon pricing.”

Carbon pricing proposes to charge large industrial and institutional users of carbon-based fuels — gasoline, diesel, coal, oil, natural gas — which will go directly into a trust. Then, on a regular schedule, the funds generated by the fee will be distributed to every American with a Social Security number. Thus, the rise in prices for carbon-intensive products and services, which almost certainly will be added to the price of the affected products, will be lifted from the backs of consumers who will be made whole.

Other countries have already created their own versions, and more are in the process. Most environmental organizations and individuals are also in support.

Experts have endorsed the finding that adoption of the carbon pricing legislation now under consideration by the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives will result in a reduction in U.S. greenhouse gases of 40 percent in the first 12 years.

Go to www.cclhawaii.org published by Citizens Climate Lobby, a leader in the carbon pricing movement.

Jeff Stark

Kahului

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