The New York Times backs a plan from the conservative Climate Leadership Council to impose a tax on carbon emissions.
Made up of Republican political officials and business leaders, including former Secretaries of State James A. Baker, III, and George P. Shultz, and led by Ted Halstead, CLC President and CEO, the council argues "the conservative case for carbon dividends."
Their plan has four points, beginning with a gradually increasing tax on carbon emissions.
"Economists are nearly unanimous in their belief that a carbon tax is the most efficient and effective way to reduce carbon emissions," the council writes.
"A sensible carbon tax might begin at $40 a ton and increase steadily over time, sending a powerful signal to businesses and consumers, while generating revenue to reward Americans for decreasing their collective carbon footprint."
Two, the money made off the carbon tax would then be distributed among the American people to balance out a predicted rise in energy costs due to the tax.
Three, "exports to countries without comparable carbon pricing systems would receive rebates for carbon taxes paid, while imports from such countries would face fees on the carbon content of their products."
And finally, the council recommends removing many of the environmental regulations passed under former President Barack Obama.
The Times praised the council for creating a plan that "might gain traction," though noting that many Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have expressed doubt about man-made climate change, oppose any new taxes, and would rather repeal former President Barack Obama's regulations without replacing them.
"Their dismissal of the council's proposal is myopic and puts their party out of step with the country," the Times editors wrote.
"A large majority of Americans want the government to address climate change — 78 percent of registered voters support taxing emissions, regulating them or doing both, according to a Yale survey conducted after the election."
"The Republican elders are offering their party an opening to change the conversation. They should take the cue."
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