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 is the lead strategist supporting the Acceleration Dialogues (diplomatic climate-solutions roundtables) and Resilience Intel—an effort to move the world to 100% climate-smart finance. Joseph represents CCL in the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, the UNFCCC negotiations, and other UN processes, and is founder of the Geoversiv Foundation and Live Your Democracy—an online periodical promoting engaged, non-partisan civics. His articles appear from time to time in the Guardian.

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