Houston Chronicle: Free Market

By Bill Eacho

Regarding "Aim of Obama's Alaska trip to show that climate change crisis has arrived" (Page A2, Tuesday),we should see this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

Economists agree the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to price carbon and thus harness the free market. British Columbia has had a carbon fee since 2008 and has reduced fossil fuel consumption by 16 percent, while use in the rest of that country has risen by 3 percent. Meantime, B.C.'s GDP growth has outperformed Canada's.

The United States should adopt a carbon fee and impose a WTO compliant border tax adjustment. Doing so would incentivize our trading partners to match us. Half of the revenue could be used to bring the corporate tax rate from 35 percent (the highest in the industrialized world) to 25 percent. The rest would go for individual tax cuts: carbon-funded tax cuts. With the cheap energy that U.S. natural gas provides, combined with a global price on carbon, our country's competitiveness would be enhanced.

Texans in Congress can provide leadership in such an effort.

William C. Eacho is co-founder of Partnership for Responsible Growth.

This letter to the editor originally appeared in the Houston Chronicle on September 4, 2015.