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Put a price on carbon

A price on carbon would make dirty electricity more expensive, and solar- and wind-generated electricity relatively cheaper. Imagine more vacant city lots covered in solar panels to supply local houses.

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Employees at a solar panel factory.
STR/AFP via Getty Images

The recent spike in gasoline prices has shown one drawback of relying on fossil fuels for transportation. Imagine, instead, that it is 2030, and half of U.S. cars are electric vehicles.

Imagine further, that the cost of carbon-free electricity, generated by wind and solar, has dropped way below the current price, and our home electricity bills have dropped by an average of $500 a year.

Sound unlikely? Not when you notice that the price of solar has consistently fallen faster than expectations, due largely to increasingly efficient and cheaper solar panels and lower capital costs for building solar farms.

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Here in Illinois, Exelon already has a small solar farm in West Pullman. Imagine more Chicago vacant lots covered in solar panels.

A price on carbon would make dirty electricity more expensive, and solar- and wind-generated electricity relatively cheaper. To help consumers afford the transition, each household could receive a monthly check as their share of the carbon price paid by polluting corporations.

A price on carbon would also stimulate innovation and create new jobs.

Contact your elected U.S. representatives to let them know you want a price on carbon included in the Build Back Better Act.

Don Wedd, Hyde Park

Justices took an oath to defend the Constitution

One huge issue in the Mississippi abortion case revolves around the principle of stare decisis, or letting previous decisions stand.

During oral arguments, Justice Brett Kavanaugh cited many cases in the Supreme Court’s history in which the high court overturned previous laws and negated traditions, implying that overturning “Roe v. Wade” would not be so uncommon.

But each case he mentioned focused on a particular constitutional right that a state or multiple states were denying, such as interracial marriage, same-sex marriage, the right to an equal education, the right to counsel in a criminal case, the right to remain silent, etc. In each case, some states allowed these rights, while others denied them.

The 14th Amendment states that no state can deny a citizen equal protection under the law. If Illinois allows abortion until the fetus is viable (about 24 weeks) but Texas cuts off that right at six weeks, how is that equal protection?

Kavanaugh also implied that the Court should remain neutral on abortion rights and let the people vote for state representative to make these decisions.

All nine justices take an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. When state laws fail to uphold the 14th Amendment, the justices on the highest court in the land have a duty to ensure no state passes a law that violates the equal protection clause.

Jan Goldberg, Riverside