Welcome to our new web site!
To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely available, through August 1, 2019.
During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.
Support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act
Columnist Carol Roig recently noted that in 2014, the Council of Economic Advisors “concluded that we can save money by adopting policies now that accelerate the transition to a non-carbon economy, which will incentivize beneficial development and deter bad investments in technologies that will be the stranded assets of the future.”
A bill currently before Congress is designed to do exactly that. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would put a price on carbon pollution and allocate the proceeds directly to American households through a monthly dividend to spend as they see fit.
The prices we pay today for fossil fuels are artificially low. The industry receives subsidies, tax breaks and discounts for leases on public lands. There are also hidden costs, like the U.S. military protecting supply lines around the world, and the healthcare and environmental costs associated with mining fossil fuels.
Economists call this a “market failure.” This bill would level the playing field, driving investment in clean energy and spurring economic growth and job creation in a new clean-energy economy.
How would it work? A predictable, steadily rising price on greenhouse gas emissions imposed as near as feasible to the mine, well, or port of entry would focus business planning on optimizing investment priorities to thrive in a carbon-constrained world. A border-adjustment fee would motivate other countries to adopt similar carbon pricing policies and discourage U.S. businesses from moving offshore.
About 60% of families would receive more in dividends than they pay in higher prices. The program would benefit low- and middle-income households the most, because they generally have the smallest carbon footprints.
A majority of Americans support congressional action on climate change. Please urge your Representative to co-sponsor HR763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Innovation Act of 2019. Learn more at
At the core of liberal and conservative philosophies lies the difference between their definitions of the word “fair.” Both acknowledge that opportunity and the share of society’s rewards are what is at stake. For conservatives, we are a society of individuals each striving to do well. For liberals, how those strivings go is what makes society healthy or not. For conservatives, the clock starts now, always, and each individual is left to deal with the hand he or she is dealt. For liberals, the hand you were dealt is good or bad luck, and “equal opportunity” is a goal, not a fact. Are there policies that are suited to accommodate these philosophies? An example of best suited is Social Security. An example of worst suited is Welfare. Welfare is means-tested, Social Security is not. Means testing is “worst” because it creates a constituency that resents what they see as an unfair taking from them to give to another. Social Security includes everyone, and most Americans, liberals and conservatives alike, defend it from attempts by radicals to weaken or destroy it. Other non-means-tested programs have been suggested. Universal child care would allow mothers who would like to work out of the house to do so. It may not be possible to design non-means-tested programs for all perceived needs, but, wherever possible, including everyone should be attempted. Not everyone might take advantage of free lunch at school, but making it available for all would avoid stigmatizing poorer kids as it does now.
Finally, means-testing has proved to be loaded ammunition for demagogues, and we all benefit from disarming that weapon.
Thanks to Hudson Valley Honor Flight for the experience of a lifetime
I want to acknowledge and thank Hudson Valley Honor Flight for allowing me to participate in one of their flights to Washington, D. C. honoring veterans.
The Walden-based organization deserves the highest praise for their organizational skills and attention to details. The April 13 flight consisted of 82 veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. Six veterans, including Robert Konvalin also of Livingston Manor were from Sullivan County.
In Washington, participants visited the World War II, Korean and Vietnam Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery.
Special thanks to Jennifer DeFrancisco, executive director of Hudson Valley Honor Flight for all she did and has done. Also to Sullivan County volunteers and guardians Karrie Jara, Jan Carlson and Diana Fredenburg.
It was truly the experience of a lifetime, and I encourage all eligible veterans to take advantage of a flight.
Frank Burbank, U. S. Navy Vietnam Veteran
Livingston Manor, NY