The Star-Ledger’s Julie O’Connor is right (“Are we ready for Sandy II?,” Perspective, Oct. 27) that no responsible leader in New Jersey can ignore the mounting climate crisis. We are paying far too high a price for our dependence on fossil fuels, through costs that are often hidden but sometimes, as with Hurricane Sandy, become all too evident. The failure of markets to build in pricing for fallout from burning fossil fuels has already imposed intolerable costs on New Jersey.

We can fix this problem by imposing a steadily rising fee on carbon-emitting fuels and rebating 100 percent of the revenues to households, to ensure those costs are built into the business model, without unfairly burdening consumers and small businesses. The fee and dividend strategy is clean, market-based and more economically efficient than any other option. Christie can support this national strategy, and help conservatives learn to treat climate mitigation as a great opportunity for leadership and for building a stronger, more prosperous future.

Joseph Robertson

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Originally published in the Oct. 29, 2013, print edition of the Newark Star Ledger

Written by Joseph Robertson

Joseph is Global Strategy Director for the non-partisan non-profit Citizens' Climate Lobby. He coordinates the building of CCL's citizen engagement groups on 5 continents, leads the Citizens' Climate Engagement Network and represents CCL in the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, UNFCCC negotiations, and other UN processes. He is a member of the Executive Board of the UN-linked NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY and of the Policy and Strategy Group for the World We Want. He is also the founder of and the Geoversiv Foundation and the lead strategist supporting the high-level climate dialogue series Accelerating Progress, Advancing Innovation.

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