These days it seems like there is nothing that Congress can accomplish. The latest example is the Build Back Better Act, an ambitious set of measures, many of them crucial to build our national response to the climate crisis.
Maybe we should focus on smaller measures that have broader support?
There is no longer any doubt that climate change is here and will get worse. We know we need to adapt, but we also know we need to make stronger efforts to prevent more future warming and associated weather disasters.
Experts all over the nation agree that the so-called energy transition — moving away from fossil fuels to power society — is an efficient way to mitigate worsening climate change.
The costs of this transition to society will be large, but they are dwarfed by the costs of future disasters under continued fossil fuel combustion.
The faster we transition (“electrify everything”) the higher the benefits, including a cleaner and healthier environment, energy security and lower costs of electricity.
It is the potential “losers” of that transition who whisper into the ears of the Manchins in Congress, providing the constant stream of misinformation that divides this nation.
But guess what? There is a growing consensus between the right and the left that a price on carbon, largely returned to consumers in the form of a rebate check each year, is the single most effective measure to solve climate change, because it speeds the transition.
Republicans support it as a market-based measure. Democrats support it for its effectiveness. A majority of citizens support it, too.
So what is Congress waiting for? Pass a revenue-neutral price on carbon now!