Statement by Rev. Mitch Hescox:
Climate change is both the greatest challenge of our time and the greatest opportunity to create sustainable prosperity that helps lift billions out of poverty. That’s why for over a decade the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has advocated for market base solutions such as a carbon tax that would both reduce carbon pollution and spur our economy.
Yesterday we were pleased to see that prominent Republicans have put forward a robust, revenue-neutral carbon tax, which would return all of the tax to the American people through quarterly checks. Those who put forward the plan include James Baker, former Treasury Secretary under President Reagan, Henry Paulson, George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary, and George Shultz, President Reagan’s Secretary of State. They are part of a group called The Climate Leadership Council (CLC).
As we highlight in Caring For Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change for far too long a market failure exists where fossil fuel interests have privatized the profits while the costs have been borne in our children’s hearts, lungs, and brains. The CLC plan addresses the market failure, returns all funds generated to the American Public, fuels energy innovation, continues empowering the fastest job growth in America, i.e., clean energy, and generates energy prosperity for those in the developing world.
While we applaud this effort by life-long conservatives, we suggest two areas for additional engagement: 1) energy subsidies must be addressed concurrently with any carbon tax and 2) a mechanism for insuring carbon reduction goals must be maintained.
Addressing climate and finding solutions are in the best interests of all Americans, and indeed all God’s Children. Congrats to Jim Baker and his colleagues for offering a conservative approach to overcoming climate change and creating sustainable prosperity.