We are young, conservative, and care deeply about climate change. We refuse to accept the idea that our party’s love of free markets, free innovation and free enterprise is the antithesis to maintaining a stable climate, and remaining stewards of our natural world.
Conservatism and environmentalism are not mutually exclusive, rather they are inextricably tied. There is nothing more conservative than conserving one’s natural resources for future generations; therefore, there is also nothing more conservative than avoiding the inherent risks brought on by climate change.
From our vantage, the greatest tool for reducing carbon emissions isn’t a regulation from the EPA, an emission standard, or a"‘New Deal" style government intervention-its the free market. The very institution that I as a conservative revere is the best tool for reducing carbon emissions. The carbon price is an ingenious solution: it grows the economy when the revenue is returned directly to the people through a tax cut or a dividend, we can make it border adjustable to leverage carbon prices in other polluting nations like China and India, and we can eliminate less effective regulation. A price on carbon in the form of a carbon dividend is the only policy that would simultaneously shrink the size of government, as well as cut emissions
A carbon dividend strategy is the cheapest, fastest and most conservative solution to climate that fits the needs of both firms and environmentalists alike. In fact, over 3,500 economists, including all living former chairs of the Federal Reserve and two former Secretaries of the U.S Dept. of Treasury, signed a statement endorsing a carbon-price and dividend framework for addressing climate. This coalition of economists is unprecedented, and certainly something to be heeded and listened to.
It is for the reasons above that we were excited to see H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, introduced in this Congress. The bill would reduce emissions by 40% in 12 years, not grow government, and has bipartisan support. Our hope as young Republicans is that our local Republican representative, John Katko, will lead on a conservative solution to climate change by adding his name as a cosponsor to this bill.
Rody Conway and Ben Mutlolo
Rudy Conway is president of and Ben Mutolo is a member of Syracuse College Republicans.
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