Fast Focus: 'What questions do you have for the 4th District candidates?' Options for reducing fossil fuels

June 22, 2014 

Recent reports (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and National Climate Assessment) on the impacts of global warming underscore the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or face serious consequences in the coming century. Such a transition necessarily requires a decrease in the use of fossil fuels.

While a majority of Americans agree we need to address global warming, the devil is in the details.

Options proposed are: (1) EPA regulations as recently proposed by the Obama administration, with costs to be borne by the consumer; (2) subsidies of low-carbon energy technologies such as wind, solar, and nuclear, with costs borne by the taxpayer; (3) cap-and-trade programs with costs to be borne by the consumer and proceeds flowing to lawyers, market participants, and consultants; (4) institution of a carbon tax with proceeds going to the government general fund; and (5) institution of a carbon tax with proceeds returned directly to the economy (either a dividend to households or a cut in income and business taxes).

Assuming that "do nothing" is not an option, which of these would the candidate favor?

-- Alexandra Amonette, Richland

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