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Letter: Conservatives must speak up on global warming

I read Susan Brown’s column (Feb. 26) regarding the “unsettled science of global warming” and like most climate skeptics, she is spot on about one thing. The science is never settled except in the case of possibly gravity. A new report last week by the bipartisan and well-respected National Academy of Sciences affirmed her view stating, “the evidence is clear” and “to the nature of science, not every single detail is ever totally settled or completely certain.”

However, it is common sense that the increased burning of fossil fuels around the globe is causing overall rising temperatures and climate change is occurring. A revenue-neutral carbon tax is a conservative, free-market approach where every dollar raised through a new tax on emissions would be 100 percent returned to taxpayers and bring my fellow Republicans to the table. Anything else is a non-starter for conservatives and an exercise in futility to solve this issue.

Pricing emissions is about fixing market distortions that currently exist through clumsy government regulations, fickle tax incentives, direct subsidies and the non-recognition of negative externalities. A “tax swap” — off of income and on to emissions — is a pro-growth policy that empowers American free enterprise, instead of government mandates and incentives. As someone who believes in free enterprise and liberty, I hope the future is shaped through elegant price signals rather than the stultifying regulations of the left.

The Environmental Left has dominated the whole discussion about climate policy, As conservatives, we can continue to hide in the stands, or we can put forth our free enterprise, market-based solution and compete. I say we compete.

Price Atkinson

Director of Communications & Development

Energy and Enterprise Initiative

Fairfax, Va.