I was interested to read the article about the Fairfax county budget, and noticed that among the top concerns for many community leaders was that the market rate for employees should be adjusted to reflect the hardships of Covid-related challenges. I agree! The market rate should take into account the added burden that the pandemic places on first responders, front line workers, healthcare workers, and others. At the same time, the looming threat of climate change is a dual crisis, threatening to lead to loss of life and economic hardship that makes this pandemic look like a dress rehearsal for what may come if we do not take action to curb climate change.
Just as I agree that the market rate for employees should be adjusted to reflect the realities that Covid has created, there should be a price for pollution that reflects the burden it places on our environment and our public health. In a carbon fee and dividend policy, there would be a fee placed on carbon and the heavier polluters would pay more. This money would then be redistributed directly to American households. Not only would this lower carbon emissions, but it would help the economy as well; both of these outcomes cannot come soon enough. I hope that Representative Connolly continues to support carbon fee and dividend approaches, and that Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner will vote to support such an approach if it is brought to a vote in the Senate.