Conservatives must help drive the solution for climate concerns

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I read Reg Henry’s column regarding global climate change and basic science denial from my fellow conservatives (“Climate Change Deniers Come With a Cost,” Feb. 19). It’s clear that the increased burning of fossil fuels around the globe is in fact causing overall rising temperatures. And we need a solution.

A revenue-neutral carbon tax is a conservative, free-market approach where every dollar raised through a new tax on emissions would be 100 percent returned to taxpayers and bring Republicans to the table. Anything else is a nonstarter for conservatives and an exercise in futility to solve this national, bipartisan issue.

Pricing emissions is about fixing market distortions that currently exist through clumsy government regulations, fickle tax incentives, direct subsidies and the non-recognition of negative externalities. A “tax swap” — off of income and on to emissions — is a pro-growth policy that empowers American free enterprise, instead of government mandates and incentives, to reduce climate risks and deliver a brighter energy future. And as citizens who believe in free enterprise and liberty, we hope the future is shaped through elegant price signals rather than the stultifying regulations of the left such as regulating climate through the Environmental Protection Agency.

The environmental left has dominated the whole discussion about climate policy. As conservatives, we can continue to hide in the stands, or we can put forth our free enterprise, market-based solution and compete. I say we compete.

Director of Communications & Development
Energy & Enterprise Initiative
George Mason University
Fairfax, Va.

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