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Letter

Extreme warming with hot, smokey summers, dry streams and stunted crops looms.

Recent polls show 69% of Americans — including 56% of Republicans — want “aggressive” action to fight climate change, but only 34% would pay an extra $100 per year to help.

How can we integrate such action into the Climate Solutions Council (CSC) plan, Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) decisions, a national strategy and into our daily lives without paying higher taxes?

Top economists, including Janet Yellen, have endorsed a nationwide refunded carbon tax like H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EnergyInnovationAct.org).

EICDA taxes fossil fuel producers starting at $15 per metric ton for carbon dioxide and increases at $10 per year, or $15 if emissions targets aren’t met. Methane is taxed similarly.

Everyone will have the opportunity to avoid these taxes by purchasing the item with the least greenhouse gas intensity because it will cost less. For example, by 2022 the Ford 150 electric version should be available to purchase, thus allowing people to avoid completely future gasoline price increases. And low- or fixed-income households with lower consumption will have dividends exceeding emission taxes.

Under EICDA, farmers and ranchers will pay no tax for agricultural uses.

EICDA taxes peak in year 10, then decline to zero in a carbon-free energy economy.

Critical actions:

1. Support a bipartisan leadership coalition like what won World War II.

2. Make EICDA part of our CSC plan (deq.mt.gov Climate Solutions Council).

3. Put EICDA into PSC considerations of NorthWestern Energy’s plans (psc.mt.gov).

John A. Noreika, Sr.,

Belgrade

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