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It has been a wild ride on fossil fuels, but now we know about the downsides. All that stuff we unburied- coal, oil, and natural gas- went into the air, heating the planet. Here is something powerful we can do about it, without expanding government, and without sacrificing while others are allowed to wreck havoc with the place we all call home.

A national carbon (fossil fuel) fee would be gradually phased in. Producers would pay at the time the fuel was taken out of the ground, or brought into the United States. NONE of this money would stay in the federal treasury. Instead, it all would be equitably distributed to families and individuals in the form of a monthly dividend check ($288 per month for a family of four with two adults by 2025). Spend it however you want. You choose.

With this carbon fee and dividend plan, people would spend more of their money in labor intensive sectors of the economy, like health care and retail. Can you guess what this means? Yes, more jobs and a stronger economy! A nonpartisan economic modeling firm (REMI) has analyzed the plan and found this to be true. National employment increases by 2 million jobs after 10 years, and the domestic economy (GDP) expands by $75 billion.

The U.S. would not be acting like the Lone Ranger. This carbon fee and dividend plan motivates other countries to follow our lead. Border adjustments would be made on imports and exports to protect our companies from those operating in countries without a fee.

The carbon fee and dividend simplifies government. Subsidies would not be needed to support specific energy technologies. The free market does the work. As Republican George Schultz, the former Secretary of State for Ronald Reagan, says, “It is not a tax if the government doesn’t keep the money”.

These economic benefits do not depend on any climate science. But there are other benefits. Carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by one third, and 13,000 lives would be saved each year, after only 10 years. After 20 years, carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by one half.

We all want to be safe, healthy, and prosperous. The carbon fee and dividend plan is the best way to improve the economy, while ensuring the livability of the big ball we call home. Would you choose to resist this change to your current life, knowing that you will pass on an irreversible disruption of the world’s weather systems to your children?