As strong advocates of states’ rights, Republicans should embrace and support President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The plan only sets the goal of a 30 percent reduction in power generation greenhouse emissions rather than dictating how states must meet the requirements. This is a quintessential small-government solution. The Clean Power Plan is a good step in the right direction and should be welcomed by anyone concerned or potentially impacted by climate change, such as everyone living in the arid western U.S. Unfortunately, the plan does not address emissions associated with nonpower generation sources and is unlikely to incentivize emission reductions beyond the 30 percent goal.
British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax, which has already reduced emissions by 16 percent since implementation in 2008, is a much better solution because increases in the cost of energy are offset by tax refunds to the citizens. Rather than arguing that the EPA doesn’t have authority to regulate air pollution, I would like to see the Republicans introduce revenue-neutral carbon pricing legislation as an alternative. This free-market solution is even more Republican than Obama’s plan.
Austin Zinsser, Boise