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Opinion

Readers React: How we can rid ourselves of fossil fuels without sparking another ‘yellow vest’ revolt

Germany’s coal commission proposes to quit coal latest by 2038, Bergheim - 04 Dec 2018
Steam rises from a coal-fired power plant in western Germany.
(Sascha Steinback / EPA-EFE/REX)

To the editor: Here’s a word of caution to Germany, which plans on closing all its coal power plants, and Green New Deal advocates within our own country who propose to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by regulatory control alone: Remember the French “yellow jacket” protests.

We can all agree on the objective here: to transition from a fossil fuel economy to a clean-energy economy. To get there we must phase out coal, oil and gas. However, if the burden of increased energy costs through the transition falls on the public, the public will revolt.

The only just solution is for the polluters to pay. Their products threaten our future on this planet.

Alongside phase-out mandates, we need to impose a steadily increasing carbon pollution tax on fossil fuel producers with all revenues distributed equally to families as dividends. This policy complements the mandates, provides economic justice, gives competitive advantage to clean energy development and spurs the economy.

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Bob Taylor, Newport Beach

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