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Readers write: An economic environmental plan, the politics of immigration

Letters to the editor for the Feb. 16, 2015 weekly magazine

Matthew Brown/AP
In this July 2013 photo, smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in Colstrip, Mont. The Obama administration is set to limit carbon emissions from US power plants.

An economic environmental plan
Regarding the Jan. 23 online article “What are Republicans going to do about climate change?” ( A majority of Americans want action on emissions reduction, and Republicans will have to come up with a plan they can get behind.

A plan they should consider is carbon fee and dividend, supported by former Secretary of the Treasury George Shultz and other prominent conservative leaders, because the revenue, collected from mining and drilling operations, does not go to the government. Also known as a revenue-neutral carbon tax, CFD returns all revenue to households in the form of monthly dividend checks like the dividends all Alaskans currently enjoy from oil drilling on public land. A 2014 economic modeling study by the well-respected REMI (Regional Economic Models Inc.) showed that such a plan would dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions over a 20-year period while creating 2 million new jobs and boosting the Main Street economy.
 Lynn Meyer
Bayside, N.Y.

Politics of immigration plan
Regarding the Jan. 14 online article “House GOP blocks Obama immigration plan, but there’s an asterisk” ( Advocating open borders and amnesty doesn’t make someone a liberal – else how to explain the millions poured into the effort by the Chamber of Commerce, the agribusiness and corporate service sector lobby, indeed every business association pursuing cheap labor. Supporting amnesty doesn’t make one a progressive, and opposing it is often done in the interest of America’s working poor.

The article also makes far too much of the Hispanic vote. It was minimal in 2008 and still more minimal in 2012. The real issue is whether the 6 million white working-class voters that sat out the 2012 election will defend their jobs by voting Republican, ideally with a slice of the black working-class tired of having yet another group leapfrog over them.
Stephen Steinlight
Senior policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies
New York

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