Readers' forum: Tax use of fossil fuels

Published: Friday, Dec. 9 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

I appreciate former Sen. Bob Bennett for his recent appeal to good sense ("On climate change, let sense rule," Dec. 5). What would really make sense would be to take a whole-systems, long-term view of the effects of burning fossil fuels to provide our energy.

Our current combustion of fuels brings with it the cumulative costs of treating respiratory and other diseases, waging war to secure energy resources, smog, acid rain, and species extinction — not to mention the astronomical costs of climate disasters.

If even a portion of these is taken into account, then it most definitely makes sense to institute policies to promote a shift to clean, renewable energy sources as quickly as possible. A fee on carbon combined with a dividend of 100 percent of the revenues back to households (as proposed in the Save Our Climate Act — HR3242) would be a good start in having real costs reflected in our energy equation.

It makes a lot of sense to drive our economy to more livable and resilient outcomes.

Ben J. Mates

Salt Lake City

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