Thomas Murray’s letter raised a valid concern about a carbon tax. It would raise the price of gasoline. It would raise the price of electricity from coal-fired power plants. Goods produced with fossil fuels would cost more.
But in spite of all of this, a well-designed carbon tax would be a boon, not a burden, to the economic well-being of most Americans. If the money is used for a monthly dividend that everyone shares equally, then people who use the most fossil fuels pay, while everyone else wins.
Who are the people who end up paying? The wealthy. They are the ones who use the most energy by far — between two and three times as much as someone at the bottom end of the income spectrum. In other words, a carbon tax matched with a dividend will put cash into the pockets of those with the least means.
It is a truism that if you want less of something, you make it more expensive. We want less carbon pollution. A carbon tax paired with a dividend will ensure that we have less pollution, while also making the average American family better off.