Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Controlling Pollution

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Controlling Pollution

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer just introduced a bill that would do two things that we can all cheer: Cut dangerous pollution and put money back in our pockets.

The Healthy Climate and Family Security Act of 2018 would limit emissions from fossil fuels while also making sure that benefits go to U.S. households. The bill would require energy companies to buy a permit for each ton of carbon pollution they emit — with the number of permits shrinking over time. The revenue from auctioning permits would then be divvied up into equal shares and sent to every household in a check each quarter.

Elements of this policy already exist in parts of the United States. For example, California has a system for capping its carbon pollution and auctioning permits. Here in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam is moving

in a similar direction to cut emissions from power plants. And in Alaska, residents receive an annual payment from the Alaska Permanent Fund, which is funded by oil revenues.

I hope Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner take a close look at the Senate version of Rep. Beyer’s bill and consider supporting it. We can all agree – Virginia families want clean air, a safe climate, and more money in their pockets.

Stephanie Burns