Letters to the Editor

Turn to carbon pollution fee

John Peterson’s “Regulations taking toll on rural Pa.” (April 6) claims the “regulatory climate” in the state is causing job losses in the fracking industry. Actually, those losses reflect a worldwide decline in demand for oil, which lowers prices, making fracking unprofitable.

That decline is due to energy efficiency measures and the growth of clean energy, which employs more Americans than oil, gas and coal combined. Solar and wind create nearly 10 times more jobs than fossil fuels and better-paying jobs too (Citizens Climate Lobby).

Peterson bemoans the closing of fracking wells, which despoil our land and pollute our water. Perhaps he hasn’t seen “Gasland” 1 and 2 (Netflix or YouTube). Solar and wind can easily power Pennsylvania (and the world) and will create about 400,000 jobs here (Stanford University’s thesolutionsproject.org).

We can avoid the regulations Peterson objects to with a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee that would make fossil fuel corporations, rather than the public, bear the cost of the damages their products cause. In Pennsylvania that’s more than $21.5 billion annually and 2 percent of state GDP, not to mention more than 3,000 deaths annually from carbon pollution (thesolutionsproject.org).

By distributing all the carbon fee revenue equally in monthly checks to every taxpayer, we’d create a clean-energy economy at no cost to consumers or taxpayers. It’s worked in British Columbia for eight years, cutting taxes and energy bills, and it’s projected to increase U.S. GDP more than $75 billion annually (Citizens Climate Lobby).

Pete Kuntz, Lancaster