Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Kudos to the Portland Tribune for publishing Steve Law’s Oct. 29 piece titled, “Carbon tax could help hit state climate goal.”

The Oregon Global Warming Commission’s report to the state Legislature is correct: Research indicates that a carbon tax has the potential to curb emissions by internalizing the currently externalized costs of greenhouse gas emissions.

Such a tax need not disproportionately affect low-income Oregonians, however. Recent research by Roberton C. Williams of the nonpartisan institute Resources for the Future indicates that rebating all net revenue to households shifts a carbon fee from being regressive to being progressive.

Affluent, suburban households are the largest emitters because of their disproportionately larger purchase of goods with indirect carbon footprints. A carbon tax rebate equally distributed among households would more than offset the increased direct energy costs (heating fuel, automobile gasoline, etc.) to the average lower- or middle-income earner. The study demonstrates this net economic benefit even before accounting for additional environmental benefits that impact the economy and public health.

A revenue-neutral fee-and-dividend program has been highly effective in British Columbia since 2008, and a similar plan could garner bipartisan support in the United States because it would not conflict with Republican pledges to prevent tax increases. Oregon can set an early national and global example of legislation that addresses both environmental and socioeconomic concerns by adopting a carbon fee and dividend.

Teresa Miller

Oak Grove

Thank your hard-working insurance agent

I keep reading about the financial woes of the health insurance companies here in Oregon, and as usual the plight of the hard-working health insurance agent is rarely addressed.

I work very closely with my clients, and each year the insurance companies abstractly change my commission structure so that I can no longer depend on a steady income.

Now I have just received notification from two major companies that due to their financial hardships they are reducing commission agreements again.

If you have a great agent, I suggest that you let them know. They are working hard for compensation that is about equal to the minimum wage.

Maybe the insurance companies should be reminded that it is the agents who keep the lights on.

Monica Cox

West Linn

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