New York Times: Carbon Pricing & Climate Change

By Walt Minnick

Not only are states, provinces and countries putting a price on carbon, but so are many companies.

More than 430 major companies — including General Motors, Stanley Black & Decker and Colgate-Palmolive — are now using an internal price on carbon for internal planning and to make investment decisions, according to C.D.P. (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). More than a thousand companies worldwide, including most major hydrocarbon companies, are doing this or have pledged to do so within two years.

Rather than stand by while businesses and states price carbon individually, Congress should enact a revenue-neutral carbon fee. The proceeds could be used to fund long-overdue tax reform, cutting taxes for business and reimbursing lower-income families for paying a few cents more at the pump.

Our nonprofit has spoken with 175 members of Congress, or their aides, and there is bipartisan openness to considering this idea after the election. Most want to know that their business leaders back home are on board. Those opinion leaders need to deliver the message to Congress that this is the cheapest and fastest way to reduce dangerous emissions.

Walt Minnick, a Democrat and the co-founder of the Partnership for Responsible Growth, represented Idaho’s First District in the House, 2009-11.