As consumers, we have a lot of power. I was reminded of that when reading the recent announcement that Volvo will build only electric and hybrid vehicles starting in 2019. CEO Hakan Samuelsson gave customer demand as a reason for the decision. (“Betting on electric, Volvo will phase out regular engines” Tribune, July 6). This is encouraging news, but the transition to electric cars could take many years, especially in the U.S. Gas is cheap here, due in part to government subsidies, and electric vehicles and hybrids are more expensive to purchase than regular cars.
There is, however, a way to speed up the transition from gasoline to electricity. Placing a fee on carbon would raise the price of gas and oil, then returning the revenue collected directly to households as a monthly energy dividend would cover higher prices. The cost of owning an electric car would become more competitive, increasing customer demand for and production of the cleaner vehicles.
You can learn more about Carbon Fee and Dividend, a market based revenue neutral solution to climate change, at citizensclimatelobby.org.
Karen Wiles, San Luis Obispo
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