Letter: Create incentive for clean energy

Danny Volkomer, right, installs a solar panel at Danny Volkomer, right, installs a solar panel at the Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue. Bob Skypala helps him carry a panel across the vineyard. Photo Credit: Daniel Goodrich, 2010

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Last year was the warmest recorded for both Long Island and the United States ["Hot facts can't be ignored," Editorial, Jan. 10]. Many of us also have the devastation and tragedy of superstorm Sandy forever burned into our memories. It seems that finally the general public is acknowledging what the vast majority of scientists already agree on: Climate change is happening now and humans are to blame.

But is there anything we can do to stop it? The most sensible approach is to put a predictable and steadily increasing fee on carbon-based fuels at the source (mine, well or port), and return the revenue to all households to shield against the impact of rising energy costs. This higher price would spur private investment in clean energy and allow the government to get out of the business of choosing energy winners and losers.

Because this approach is revenue-neutral, Republicans could get on board too. Indeed, even many conservative economists, such as Arthur Laffer of the Reagan administration and Greg Mankiw of the George W. Bush administration, are supportive.

So let's set a new record for 2013 and enact serious climate change legislation via a carbon fee and dividend.

Ashley Hunt-Martorano, Medford

Editor's note: The write is a volunteer co-leader of Citizens Climate Lobby Long Island, an advocacy organization.

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