Thank you for your article and thank you, City Council, for a unanimous vote last week to make Flagstaff Arizona’s first city to support a carbon fee and dividend. We join 56 municipalities across the US calling for Congress to put a revenue neutral price on carbon. Cities are on the front line of climate change and are leading the call for sensible national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the engine of the change.

The policy in brief levies a steadily increasing fee on carbon in fossil fuels at the source, returns fees equitably to households to offset rising energy costs, and levels trade inequities at the border. I’d like to clarify that the resolution supports concepts of carbon fee and dividend but does not prescribe specifics. Citizens’ Climate Lobby recommends a starting price, annual increase, and procedures for delivering dividends to households — but other groups have other ideas, like the Conservative Climate Leadership Caucus.

So, the resolution language leaves specifics to the legislative process. CCL’s policy suggests starting at $15/ton, increasing $10/year and returning equal monthly dividends to households. Over 20 years, greenhouse gas emissions will fall 50 percent below 1990 levels, we’ll have 2.8 million new jobs, GDP increases by $1.375 trillion, and 230,000 lives saved from declining air pollution.

Thank you, City Council, for your strong climate leadership. Watching you come to unanimous agreement was inspiring -- a model of democracy at work.

SHAWN NEWELL

Flagstaff

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