I applaud Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s call for action to use a market-based approach to the development of clean-energy alternatives. The most efficient way to promote the change to clean energy is to set a steadily increasing price on carbon-based fuels that reflects their true cost, thus making alternatives competitive without favoring some with subsidies at the expense of others.
We’ve played the subsidy game, of course, primarily with fossil fuels, but it’s past time to recognize the damage they cause to the climate, and thus the global economy.
So, rather than subsidies and tax incentives, we should set a price on all carbon, with tariffs providing a level playing field for imports and encouraging other countries to follow our lead. In addition, the price on carbon should be revenue neutral. Studies show that this would protect most consumers from the impact of higher prices because of the fee on fossil fuels and stimulate the economy.